How Caritas works in
Migration & Human Trafficking

Migrant labourers on farms or construction sites may be overworked and underpaid, domestic workers may face physical and sexual abuse and child migrants may be kept out of school and taken advantage of. The risks facing migrants are many.

Some are tricked by people they trust. They are sold into slavery or prostitution or fall prey to organised criminal gangs. Migrants can also be abused by law enforcement authorities and employment agencies.

Caritas supports migrants, upholds their rights and helps them live in dignity. It advocates for better legislation to protect them.

In its centres around the world, Caritas provides hotlines, shelters, legal help and job training for migrants. It works across borders, linking support between the countries people leave and the countries they arrive in. Caritas ensures that migrants are aware of the risks before they leave home and know how to get help afterwards.

Through its advocacy and campaigns, Caritas is committed to stamping out abuse. It reminds us that migrants are part of our human family and are recognised for the positive contributions they make. Caritas works to change laws so that migrants are treated justly and it presses for international treaties on migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and trafficked people to be adopted, ratified and implemented.

Our key areas on migration are:

Human Trafficking

Angered by the sale of thousands of children, women and men into slavery as beggars, prostitutes and forced laborers, Caritas Internationalis is part of the COATNET network which fights the evil which is trafficking in human beings.

The Female Face of Migration

There’s an increasing demand for female labour in many developed countries – it’s a demand which is attracting more and more women. While women may migrate to escape conflict, poverty and hunger, they may also be trying to leave behind them a lack of equal opportunity, forced marriages and oppressive cultural systems, which relegate them to being second-class citizens.

Domestic Workers

Domestic workers often don’t get a fair deal – especially if they are not working in their home country. When there are not proper laws to protect them, women, men and children suffer physical and verbal abuse. They are refused any time off or a limit to their working hours. They can have no access to a minimum wage or social welfare systems. Cruel employers withhold their wages and sometimes their passports.

Child Migration

Many people are on the move in our world today. An unprecedented number are women and increasingly, children. It’s thought that one in every seven people is a migrant. Caritas recognises the bravery and strong spirit of migrants who want to build better lives for themselves and their families – but it wants migration to be an informed choice and for migrants to be properly protected.