Today marks the 48th world day of Peace, celebrated every year on January 1st.

The title message for this year “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters” was selected by Pope Francis and announced mid-December last year by The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

This is the second time Pope Francis celebrates the Day of Peace since he has risen to the papacy.

In describing why Pope Francis chose “Trafficking” as the theme for World Peace Day 2015, a statement from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace said, “Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past, but this social plague remains all too real in today’s world”.

Abominable forms of slavery include human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labour, and the enslavement of women and children.

Shamefully, individuals and groups around the world profit from this slavery. They take advantage of the world’s many conflicts, economic crisis and corruption in order to carry out their evil.

To counter slavery effectively, the inviolable dignity of every person must be recognized above all.

The World Day of Peace, initiated by Pope Paul VI, is celebrated each year on the first day of January. The Holy Father’s Message is sent to all the world’s Foreign Ministers and also indicates the Holy See’s diplomatic line during the coming year.

The United Nations estimates 2.4 million people are trafficked at any given time and their exploitation generates $32 billion in annual profits for criminals. The Global Slavery Index estimates nearly 30 million people worldwide are living in slave-like conditions.


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