April 15 to 19, 2013 – Major superiors of Catholic religious institutes in nine countries in Southeast Asia gathered in Singapore to discuss how to address human trafficking in the region. The 33 delegates hailed from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Micronesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
At the end of the six-day meeting organised by the Conference of Religious Major Superiors (CRMS) Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, the major superiors emerged with broad plans to combat human trafficking in the various local contexts, and had committed to concrete actions. They issued this concluding statement:
“Through the Congress, participants emerged with a strong conviction that we cannot continue to address human trafficking in our present piecemeal way. There is an urgent need for greater networking and collaboration.
Putting aside the tendency to label and stigmatize persons involved in human trafficking, we commit to upholding the dignity and uniqueness of each person in whom we encounter Christ for ‘whatsoever you do to the least of these my sisters and brothers, you do it to me’ (Matt 25:40, 45).”
The Catholic News (Singapore) – Religious superiors focus on human trafficking
Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific – Fighting human trafficking
Union of Catholic Asian News – Catholic congress targets human trafficking in Asia