Bishop Brian McGee to meet with Police Scotland to discuss eradicating ‘horrific evil’ of human trafficking

Bishop Brian McGee of Argyll and the Isles has spoken of the “horrific evil” of human trafficking and the role of the Church in tackling it. 

Writing in the Scottish Catholic Observer Bishop McGee said that human trafficking is the second most profitable illegal trade in the world, making £107 billion a year. He believes that the Church, as the largest community in the world, can help police to find those criminals who are involved in trafficking. 

In many countries “it is the Church that raises awareness [of human trafficking] and practical support” writes Bishop McGee. This, he says, is because of the lack of trust in police in the homelands of many trafficking victims; many of whom are corrupt. He continues: “When the victims reach Europe, although desperate they are frightened to approach police – presuming that they too will be corrupt”.

“The Church” says Bishop McGee, “encourages us to become more sensitive to people’s situations” and he called on Catholics to chat to those who deliver our services and be on the lookout for anything suspicious. 

Whilst “the Church’s primary task is to save souls….God also expects her to better the world” says the Bishop. He suggests that this is done through making the right moral choices. Focusing on Scotland, a destination for trafficked slaves, Bishop McGee wrote: “if we only (as individuals and businesses) refused to make the morally sinful choices then there would be no market, and so no profit for human trafficking here. The trade would cease!” The number of reports to police of suspected human trafficking in Scotland has risen 42% in the last year.

Bishop McGee said that he looks forward to “meeting Police Scotland to explore ways in which our Church and the police can work in partnership to eradicate this horrific evil.” 

The bishop was recently in Rome for the Santa Marta Conference. The Santa Marta Group encourages cooperation between the Church and law enforcement agencies worldwide in order to tackle human trafficking.