Events and Conferences
The Santa Marta Group holds a number of conferences to further the work of the group and its members. The focal point is an annual conference that is hosted by one of the group’s global partners.
Fifth Conference – Rome, February 2018
The fifth international Santa Marta Group conference took place at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from 8 – 9 February 2018. The conference focused on human trafficking and modern slavery in different geographical regions and the activities undertaken to combat it. A summary of the conference is available and the presentations can be accessed here.
Fourth Conference – Rome, October 2016
The fourth major Santa Marta Group conference took place in the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from 26 – 27 October 2016. A wide group of delegates from around the world shared their experiences fighting this serious cross-border organised crime.
Third Conference – Madrid, October 2015
The third Santa Marta Group conference on Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery was held near Madrid at Casa San Jose, El Escorial, Spain on 30 – 31 October 2015. It was opened by Queen Sofia of Spain and delegates received a message of blessing and encouragement.
Second Conference – London, December 2014
The Santa Marta Group held its second conference at Lancaster House in central London from 5-6 December 2014.
Police chiefs and Catholic Church representatives from across the world alongside Home Office ministers met to further develop strategies to combat human trafficking to keep the welfare of the trafficked victim at the heart of law enforcement.
The conference showcased and built on the joint police and church initiative in London that has been running for the past three years; a collaboration that is to be copied and adapted around the world.
First Conference – Rome, April 2014
The Santa Marta Group was inaugurated at its first global conference held in the Vatican from 9-10 April 2014. Pope Francis spoke at the gathering:
“Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ. It is a crime against humanity.
“The very fact of our being here to combine our efforts means that we want our strategies and areas of expertise to be accompanied and reinforced by the mercy of the Gospel, by closeness to the men and women who are victims of this crime.”
As the conference concluded, delegates signed a Declaration of Commitment in the fight to bring an end to human trafficking.