An Economy without Human Trafficking

The International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking 2021 brings into the spotlight one of the main causes of human trafficking: the dominant economic model of our time, whose limits and contradictions are exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Human trafficking is an integral part of “this economy”: victims of trafficking are as “commodities” falling into the mechanisms of a globalization ruled by financial speculation and competition spurred by below-cost pricing. Hence the need for a “structural and global” perspective of human trafficking so as to dismantle those wicked mechanisms that fuel the supply and demand of “people to exploit”, because the very heart of the economy is sick.

An aphorism attributed to Oscar Wilde states that the cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing, this economy seems dominated by cynicism: not only does the market fix the price of commodities, services and persons, but also what is even more appalling is that the price sets their value. Businesses themselves are victim of this, because financial markets rank them based on their share price, not on the added value produced by their human capital.

Human trafficking is only the tip of an iceberg, the magnifying lens of distress caused by the dominating neoliberalism that relies on a (false) idea of economic freedom that considers any ethical, social and political circumstance as irrelevant and a hurdle.

However, the opposite is true, in fact, an economy without human trafficking is an economy that values and cares for the human being and nature, is inclusive and does not exploit the most vulnerable.

This perspective has led the International Committee of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking to take part in “The economy of Francesco”: a large movement of young economists, entrepreneurs and change-makers convened by Pope Francis from all over the world to share ideas and plan initiatives for promoting integral and sustainable human development in the spirit of Francis.

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