Sunday marked world day against human trafficking – and for Portugal it was a moment when the country would have been happier with no mention at all.
But according to Joana Menezes of APAV – the Portuguese association for victim support – Portugal is becoming “more and more a destination for human trafficking”.
Just last year, many of the 264 victims APAV dealt with in Portugal came from overseas.
To cope with the problem, Portugal has its police authorities, and “a network of support and protection constituted by various governmental and non-governmental entities”, she told Rádio Comercial, adding that victims of human trafficking also have their own helpline: 116 006.
But it was left to the Pope to talk tough about combining efforts to stop this “abhorrent plague” which he described as “a form of modern-day slavery”.
Speaking before thousands at Angelus prayers at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that “we seem to have become accustomed to think (human trafficking) is normal”, when in truth it is “bad, cruel and criminal”.