The World Council of Churches (WCC) Executive Committee issued a statement expressing concern over the disappearance of asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa and northern Africa, falling prey to human traffickers in the Sinai desert while crossing borders between Egypt and Israel.
The WCC Executive Committee issued this statement in a recent meeting which took place from 14-17 February in Bossey, Switzerland.
The statement quoted a report from Agenzia Habeshia, an organization monitoring the situation of asylum seekers, mentioning that 190 refugees are currently held captive in the Sinai faced with life-threatening situations.
The report also points out the plight of asylum seekers kept in jails by the Egyptian government, facing inhuman treatment and forced deportation.
The Executive Committee statement called on the WCC member churches and ecumenical organizations to “raise awareness of the situation of asylum seekers, especially regarding the problem of human trafficking and organ thefts.”
The statement asked the “Egyptian government to prosecute the traffickers and close down their detention sites,” as well as encouraged Israeli authorities to “apprehend suspects within the state who are cooperating with human traffickers in Sinai.”
The WCC Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA) organized a round table meeting in Geneva last year highlighting the situation of human trafficking in Sinai Desert. The issue was also discussed with African churches at various levels.