Declaration of the Judges' Summit against Human Trafficking and Organized Crime


In accordance with the Magisterium of Pope Francis, the declarations of the leaders of the main religions and of the mayors of the major cities of the world, we affirm that modern slavery in terms of human trafficking, forced labour and prostitution, and organ trafficking are Crimes against Humanity and should be recognised as such. Organized crime that aims directly or indirectly at expanding modern slavery in its abovementioned forms must also be considered a Crime against Humanity.

We the undersigned have assembled at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences to address how representatives of the Judiciary can best face this daunting challenge.

Today, the elimination of modern slavery is a new moral imperative for the 193 Member States of the United Nations, according to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 8.7) approved in September 2015.

The effective application of criminal law is a necessary condition to “eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers” (SDG 8.7), and to help remedy its consequences for victims and society. Criminal justice is intrinsically linked to social justice, which in turn is linked to environmental justice. The Encyclical Laudato si’ affirms that, “Today we have to realize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor” (§ 49). Rehabilitation, resettlement and re-integration aim to free the victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and restore their human dignity, enabling them to become socially and economically independent. Only when they are no longer at risk of being re-trafficked or compelled to resort to illegal and humiliating activities, can they contribute positively to society.

To this end, we endorse the following 10 goals:

  1. To encourage each state to increase resources and international judicial and police collaboration in order to raise low prosecution and conviction rates for criminals, strengthening supranational institutions for the fight against traffickers and the protection of human rights.
  2. Having approved the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ratified the 2000 UN Protocol Against Trafficking in Persons (Palermo Protocol), all nations must recognize modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour and prostitution as Crimes against Humanity with commensurate sentences.
  3. Assets seized from convicted traffickers and criminals must be devoted to victim rehabilitation and compensation, and making reparations to society. The crime of money laundering must be severely prosecuted, because it is the process of transforming the proceeds of crime and corruption into ostensibly legitimate assets.
  4. Advocate the provision of adequate victim support including civil and legal aid, secure witness protection, medical assistance and support for individuals from social service agencies, especially in the case of undocumented victims. Encourage collaboration of the victims with the judicial system as witnesses, offering safe, professional witness protection by means of international protection programs.
  5. In the case of undocumented victims, the issuing of temporary residence permits in the country of destination, for those wishing to remain there, regardless of their legal status in that national territory and including effective access to relevant courts and tribunals, access to free legal assistance, and job training aimed at reinsertion into the labour force.
  6. Encourage concerted efforts to reduce delays in accessing legal support for identified victims of modern slavery.
  7. Organ trafficking, as defined and condemned in The Declaration of Istanbul on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism (2008), must be recognized as a crime in all countries and be effectively legally prosecuted at the national and at the international level. As well as being illegal, this activity must also be recognised as prevalent among international criminal organizations.
  8. Prosecution of clients of commercial sexual services should become an integral part of anti-slavery and anti-trafficking legis- lation as should the knowing employment of forced labour.
  9. Trafficked persons should never be confused with non-trafficked irregular migrants, nor being smuggled with being trafficked.
  10. Repatriation of undocumented foreigners should never be the default judgement upon victims, in order to avoid the risk of their being re-trafficked or resorting to illegal and humiliating activities. 


Miguel Abásolo Argentina
Guido Acquaviva Italy
Daniel Adler Argentina
Miguel Ángel Aguilar López Mexico
Syed Mansoor Ali Shah Pakistan
Vladimir Aras Brazil
Margaret Archer UK
Edgar Elías Azar Mexico
Yanina Soledad Basilico Argentina
Antonio Herman Benjamin Brazil
Eber Omar Betanzos Torres Mexico
Sr. Eugenia Bonetti Italy
Alberto Buriani Repubblica di S. Marino
Gabriel Bustamante Peña Colombia
Elizabeth Butler-Sloss UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
Guillermina Cabrera Figueroa Mexico
Sebastián Casanello Argentina
Yves Charpenel France
Jorge Chavarría Guzmán Costa Rica
Jonas Christoffersen Denmark
Marcelo Colombo Argentina
Jacqueline Corbelli USA
Juan Pablo Curi Argentina
Krzystof Czarnecki Poland
Péter Darák Hungary
Barbara de Muro Italy
Gabriel de Vedia Argentina
Antonio del Moral García Spain
Tonio Dell'Olio Italy
Francis Delmonico USA
Francisco Javier Díaz Verón Paraguay
Julián Ercolini Argentina
Jaroslav Fenyk Czech Republic
Marcos Arnoldo Grabivker Argentina
Aurelijus Gutauskas Lithuania
Gloria Guzmán Duque Colombia
Carlos Henrique Haddad Brazil
Mari Heidenborg Sweden
Branko Hrvatin Croatia
Elias Huerta Psihas Mexico
Kevin Hyland UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
Santiago Inchausti Argentina
Antonio Ingroia Italy
Marisa Jaramillo Cuenca Mexico
Salim Joubran Israel
Claudio Rodolfo Kishimoto Argentina
Jaroslaw Kowalsky Poland
Luciano Homero Lauria Paz Argentina
Antonis J. Liatsos Cyprus Republic
Ariel Oscar Lijo Argentina
Irma Encarnación Llano Pereira Paraguay
Rosario López Wong Peru
Ricardo Lorenzetti Argentina
Diego Sebastian Luciani Argentina
John McCaffrey, Ireland
Francesco Mandoi Italy
Lucas Manjon Argentina
Teresa Martínez Acosta Paraguay
Valeria Mazza Argentina
Susana Medina de Rizzo Argentina
Jose Midas P. Marquez Philippines
Michal Mikláš Czech Republic
Maria Monteleone Italy
Emanuele Montemarano Italy
Madai Morales Albino Mexico
Noemí Lara Muñoz Mexico
Christos Naintos Greece
Zunilda Niremperger Argentina
Philip Norton of Louth UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
Sang-jin Oh South Corea
Rosi Orozco Mexico
María Teresa Paredes Hernández Mexico
Agnieszka Pawlowska Poland
Luis Alberto Petit Guerra Venezuela
Zélia Luiza Pierdoná Brazil
Valeria Pierfelici Repubblica di S. Marino
Mynor Rolando Pinto Sanchez Guatemala
Julio Piumato Argentina
Margarita Popova - Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria
Christopher Prince UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
Sandra Ramirez Montes Colombia
Rodolfo Fernando Ríos Garza Mexico
Gillian Rivers UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
David W. Rivkin USA
Franco Roberti Italy
Giovanni Russo Italy
Jeffrey Sachs USA
Giovanni Salvi Italy
Alison Saunders UK (with reservations on articles 2 and 8)
Lucas Schaerer Argentina
Giusto Sciacchitano Italy
María Romilda Servini de Cubria Argentina
Ottavio Sferlazza Italy
Anna Skarhed Sweden
Steven Sprague Italy
Fumarulo Stefano Italy
Janet Tello Gilardi Peru
Sergio Torres Argentina
Adolfo Vannucci Italy
José Luis Vegas Roche Venezuela
Gustavo Vera Argentina
Carlos Alberto Vera Barros Argentina
Federico Hernan Villena Argentina
Agnieszka Wozníak Poland
Juan Pedro Yllanes Suárez Spain


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