Video: Mayor Bell Discusses Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking at Vatican Conference

By Olivia Huzenis

Vatican City—Today, the Vatican is hosting a conference uniting mayors from around the world to address issues of modern slavery, climate change, and sustainable development that plague cities worldwide. Human Rights First bankrupt slavery campaign ambassador, Mayor William Bell of Birmingham, Alabama, attended and spoke at the event. In his remarks, Mayor Bell outlined the importance of uniting law enforcement, government, and the private sector in the fight against modern slavery.

Addressing this endemic problem “will require a comprehensive, multi-sector approach that establishes new partnerships to share data and best practices and to expand the capacity of law enforcement. In addition, there must be new energy and partnerships developed between law enforcement, governments, businesses, and civil society to bring perpetrators’ profits down and ensure legitimate businesses and government are not knowingly or unwittingly supporting the crime by having slave labor in the supply chains of their companies and those from which they procure goods,” Mayor Bell said in remarks at the conference.

Representatives at the conference emphasized the universality of this problem and the need for cooperation amongst international governments and businesses to dismantle the criminal enterprise of trafficking. “As an ambassador to the organization called Human Rights First, we’re dedicated to work not only within the United States but internationally with other organizations to end this travesty among God’s children. We have made a lot of progress in combating trafficking both in the United States and abroad over the past 15 years, but we are still a long way to go,” said Bell.

Watch Mayor Bell’s remarks at the conference here:

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Published on July 21, 2015

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