Tirana, February 11, 2021
Human trafficking is a major problem in Albania, the victims of which are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking throughout the Balkans and Western Europe.
On Monday, February 8, a national conference was held to address the problem. With the blessing of His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios, the Albanian Church was represented by Fr. Grigor Pelushi at the Religious Beliefs Against Trafficking in Human Beings in Albania: An Economy Without Benefits from Human Trafficking conference held at the Lady of Good Counsel Catholic University in Tirana, reports Radio Ngjallja.
The conference was also attended by the heads of various religious communities and representatives of relevant human rights institutions in the country and the media. All the speakers stressed the importance of cooperating not only in identifying victims of trafficking, but also in treating, curing, and preventing the great wounds caused by this great evil in Albania.
In his talk on “Protecting Human Dignity from All Forms of Exploitation and Abuse,” Fr. Grigor stressed that, “For all mankind, the coming of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, opened an enlightened perspective on human existence,” and, “It is precisely the Church that encourages us to become more aware of the dignity of every human being, a dignity given to him by God himself.”
Orthodox theology emphasizes freedom and love and helps man understand his spiritual and moral value, Fr. Grigor told the conference, adding that man’s personal dignity depends on development of freedom and love.
“Christian dignity is associated with humility, forgiveness, love, and compassion, and with the assurance that what we are is not an achievement of ours, but of Divine Grace,” he continued.
The Church inspires us to fight for the dignity of all people, regardless of color, race, or creed, Fr. Grigor said before closing by quoting Abp. Anastasios:
Where there is injustice, let us become agents of justice; where there are human rights violations, let us find the oppressed. Where there is conflict, let us become factors of peace; where there is despair, factors of hope; where there is scarcity, let us hasten with love, with deeds; where there is loneliness, let us give a presence of love, even more so today, in the times we are living in!
On December 10, on International Human Rights Day, the Romanian Orthodox Church signed a cooperation agreement with the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs’ National Agency Against Human Trafficking, and the Bucharest City Hall to prevent and combat human trafficking.