Conference Background

08/04/2014 11:24 am

Human trafficking poster image

Combating Human Trafficking

Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership

Second International Conference

Rome 9 -10 April 2014

Police chiefs from across the world are coming to the Vatican for a Conference aimed at combating human trafficking.

The conference, which will take place at the Accademia delle scienze in the Vatican, is being organised by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and is chaired by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster. There will be an audience with Pope Francis at the close of the Conference, where the Holy Father will meet with victims and police chiefs.

Building on the words of Pope Francis following his recent meeting with US President Obama when both the Holy See and the US stated their “common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world”, the conference is a practical step in fulfilling this aim. It seeks to showcase and build on the joint police and church initiative in London that has been running for the past three years; a collaboration that is to be copied and adapted around the world.

From listening to the voice of the victims, who will also be represented at the conference and able to tell their stories to all delegates from both law enforcement agencies and the Church, the Conference aims to bring police chiefs together so they can build an effective network to combat trafficking and work collaboratively with the Church. As a guiding principle, the welfare of the trafficked victim will always be at the heart of all law enforcement. These aims will be summarised in a global declaration of commitment from all police chiefs present.

Training modules and good practice will be shared and developed. Closer collaboration will also enable joint investigations between law enforcement agencies enabling a more co-ordinated international approach to rid the world from the scourge of the world’s second most profitable crime: estimated by the International Labour Organisation to generate $32bn annual profits for criminals, with 2.4 million people trafficked globally at any given time.

During the Conference there will be addresses by representatives of law enforcement agencies across the world and from Women Religious who pastorally care for the victims of this crime. There will also be the testimony of victims of trafficking.


The Conference will be live-streamed throughout the two days – starting at 12:00 midday (UK time) on Wednesday 9 April and concluding with a Papal Audience on 10 April at midday.

YouTube (Natural Sound)


Cardinal Vincent Nichols announced the April conference in Rome shortly after he was created a Cardinal by Pope Francis. Listen to audio from the press conference using the player and link in the top right-hand corner of this page.


Cardinal Nichols: Trafficking Conference

Cardinal Vincent Nichols announces the 'Combating Human Trafficking' conference taking place in Rome, April 2014.   traffick-conf-launch-240214.mp3 5.16 MB