By Estefania Aguirre
Catholic leaders in the United Kingdom are worried that London has become the new home for human traffickers with the summer Olympics less than five months away.
“People are simply not aware that this is happening in our own backyards. This is a very important issue that we need to tackle,” said Cecilia Taylor-Camara, a senior policy adviser on migration for the bishops’ conference in England and Wales.
In a recent meeting, Taylor-Camara warned Caritas Europa’s secretary general Jorge Nuño Mayer that human trafficking is rapidly growing in the U.K. as the July 27 – Aug. 12 global sports event nears.
The two spoke after a meeting with the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community in Brussels in late February.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is working with London Metropolitan police to host an event in May with organizations for human trafficking victims living in Europe.
Advocacy groups from Nigeria, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe – the countries with the highest numbers in human trafficking – will also be attending.
“We want to raise awareness of the growing concern of the spread of human trafficking and to ensure the Church has a collective approach about it,” Taylor-Camara said.
Nuño Mayer added that he’s “happy that the Bishops’ Conference is involved with European issues” and said he appreciates Taylor-Camara’s work as “it shows again how the Church is committed to people in need.”