The Cape Town Declaration

The International Forum's Global Inter-faith Dialogue
'What the Religious Community Can Do To Combat Human Trafficking'

Having met, prayed and marched [against human trafficking] together on 3-5 October 2007 at the St George's Cathedral and Adderley Street, Cape Town, respectively and, after considerable deliberations and dialogues at the Cape Town International Convention Center [CTICC] on critical aspects, specific and general associated related issues of the International Forum's Global Interfaith Dialogue, the delegate religious leaders, representatives of faith-based and other non-governmental organizations [NGOs] present and working in the human trafficking space adopted and committed themselves to this Cape Town Declaration and its below Supplementary Resolutions on 5 October 2007.

As imperfect beings in this imperfect world, understanding the critical role of religious leaders in every community and the religious dimensions of poverty within communities of whatever sizes and complexities, the religious leaders and representatives of faith-based and other non-governmental organizations reemphasize that:

  • human beings are not commodities to be bought and sold
  • every person is sacred
  • there is no simple solutions to the complex problem of trafficking in persons [TIPs]

Without over and or underestimating the uniqueness and power of the pulpit and, notwithstanding the facts that religious and faith-based organizations have:

  • a captured, multi-skilled and professional resourceful audience [some of whom are meeting at least twice a week]
  • unparalleled infra-structure and related supportive resources
  • principled and trusted moral leaders of our society who are capable of 'speaking truth to any power' anytime, anywhere and can take the high road/ground and the attached proposed high level Action Plans forward

Committed themselves to the following strategic imperatives:

  • a rational holistic integrative rights-based Plan of Action
  • supplemented with practical cost effective adopted strategies and
  • needs-based programmes and projects to combat human trafficking and support victims of human trafficking

Cognizant that the world is a global village, for religious leaders, representatives of faith-based and non-governmental organizations to:

  • understand and orchestrate paradigmatic shifts within the context of conscious transformative change and development including changes of the hearts, mind-sets and attitudes of religious leaders themselves first and, the rest of civil society last
  • understand that human trafficking is organized crime with an estimated value of $32b, $32b of which is accumulated risk free profits all of which must be recouped and repossessed for the benefit of the victims of human trafficking as no human being is a commodity for sale
  • understand, pray together and mobilize all of civil society and international organizations to work together in fighting corruption, towards good governance and towards confronting and combating human trafficking at all the identified points of origin, transit and or destination points
  • reach-out and network with colleagues in all regions to raise public awareness, develop films and or curricular to help educate children and society at large about existing conventions and protocols in order to earnestly combat the scourge of human trafficking in the world
  • develop and implement practical and positive policies and programmes on caring for victims of human trafficking
  • urge governments to harmonize their existing legislation and develop specific relevant international treaties, inter-state, transnational and intra-state legislation, procedures and protocols towards combating human trafficking
  • develop and share material/messages, train police, prosecutors and immigration officials on all aspects of human trafficking
  • embark and or commission crust and or back-bone research on the causes, effects and ramifications of human trafficking
  • help upgrade the existing web-page and develop and share a data-base of service providers to victims of human trafficking
  • realizing the need for functional Regional Task Forces consisting of Representatives of relevant structures e.g. Social and Security Cluster Ministries, Interfaith Communities, Civil Society and the Africa Prosecutors Association [for Africa]
  • report back within six months on the outcomes of the IFGID and progress on the status of this declaration and its supplementary resolutions
  • mobilze relevant government structures towards consensus on an international anti-human trafficking week