VATICAN CITY – Judges and prosecutors from around the world are pledging to crack down on human trafficking and help victims of modern-day slavery in the latest Vatican initiative to draw attention to the problem and rally resources to fight it.
Pope Francis is expected to sign a declaration Friday along with participants of a Vatican summit of judges, prosecutors and other public officials involved in fighting human trafficking and organized crime.
According to the draft declaration obtained by The Associated Press, participants call human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution a "crime against humanity." The 10-point declaration pledges increased funding for international cooperation to boost prosecutions and better support for victims, including issuing temporary residence permits.
The draft, which may be amended, says repatriation should never be the default judgment against victims.