Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? -- Isaiah 58:6-7

COATNET’s vision

The vision of COATNET is a world in which:

  • Human trafficking and related forms of slavery are publicly and politically acknowledged and denounced as unacceptable crimes and a violation of human dignity--and are combated and ultimately eradicated.
  • The injustice, poverty and inequality that enable human trafficking are successfully addressed.
  • Attitudes and practices that foster discrimination, vulnerability and exploitation of human beings, specifically women and children, are exposed and challenged.
  • Trafficked persons are not regarded as criminals but as victims of a crime who have an inalienable right to legal protection, dignified and humane treatment and adequate assistance in their process of rehabilitation.

COATNET mission statement

COATNET aims to add value to the individual action of its affiliates and to mobilise the potential and the resources of churches and their organisations.

COATNET affiliates achieve this mission by having access to timely and adequate information resources; sharing experience and practices; engaging in joint learning and capacity building; developing joint projects and campaigns; and actively influencing relevant stakeholders about necessary changes in policies and legislation.

COATNET’s Commitment on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings draws inspiration from statements by the Catholic Church, including:

  • "The trade in human persons constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights. It is an affront to fundamental values that are shared by all cultures and peoples, values rooted in the very nature of the human person." (Pope John Paul II, Vatican City, 15 May 2002)
  • “In regard to children, great care should be taken not to place them in workshops and factories until their bodies and minds are sufficiently developed. For, just as very rough weather destroys the buds of spring, so does too early an experience of life’s hard toil blight the young promise of a child’s faculties, and render any true education impossible.” (Leo XII, Encyclical Letter Rerum Novarum: Acta Leonis XIII, 11 (1892), 129.)
  • “Trafficking in persons – in which men, women and children from all over the globe are transported to other countries for the purposes of forced prostitution or labour – inherently rejects the dignity of the human person and exploits conditions of global poverty.” (“Strangers no longer: Together on the journey of hope” – A joint US/Mexico bishops pastoral letter, November 2002)

The full text of Caritas Internationalis Commitment on Trafficking can be downloaded here.