2018 Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons

On October 11, President Donald J. Trump convened the first annual President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF) meeting to discuss the Trump Administration’s efforts to combat human trafficking.  There are an estimated 24.9 million victims of this global crime. The PITF is a Cabinet-level entity, consisting of 15 U.S. departments and agencies, which work tirelessly to prosecute traffickers and protect survivors. ...
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Vatican Official Participates in International Visitor Leadership Program

Every year the State Department sponsors the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), which allows current and emerging foreign leaders to visit the United States and get a firsthand look at American government and culture, while cultivating lasting relationships with their American counterparts, and strengthening U.S. engagement with countries around the world. Participants meet with corresponding ...
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Embassy Hosts Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Prominent Religious Freedom Advocate

Chargé d’Affaires Louis Bono hosted a breakfast in honor of Rabbi Arthur Schneier, a Holocaust survivor and founder of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation on July 5th. In attendance were ambassadors from several countries to the Holy See and prominent leaders of local Jewish, Muslim, and Christian communities. Chargé Bono introduced the Rabbi with remarks on the importance of ...
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Ivanka Trump Discusses Trafficking in Persons with Vatican Officials

On May 24, Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump met with Pope Francis, alongside President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.  This private audience followed a half-hour conversation between President Trump and Pope Francis, where the two leaders discussed topics including religious freedom and the promotion of peace.  Ms. Trump ...
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Sister Carol meets Pope Francis

On April 12, 2017, International Woman of Courage (IWOC) Award recipient, Sister Carol Tahhan of Syria attended a papal audience in St. Peter’s Square. Following the audience, Sister Carol and Salesian Sister Chiara Cazzuola, Vicar General of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, had the chance to meet Pope Francis and ask for his blessing. In an interview with Italian television station, TV2000, Sister ...
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Sister Carol Receives International Women of Courage Award

Since 2007, the State Department has been honoring women from around the world who have exhibited exceptional courage and leadership, who have drawn strength from adversity to help transform their societies, with their International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award . This year, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See nominated Sister Carol Tahhan of Syria. In March, she was recognized during ...
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Webinar on U.S. Embassies’ Grants Programs

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See’s Public Affairs Officer, Tanya Salseth, addressed participants in the International Union of Superiors General’s   webinar, “Partnering with U.S. Embassies on Grants and Fundraising”, on March 29, 2017.  She discussed the various grant opportunities offered by U.S. Embassies around the world, and the ways religious can increase their chances of receiving these grants. During ...
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Women Religious as Peacebuilders

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See hosted its second Women Religious and Peacebuilding event on March 17, 2017, in celebration of Women’s History Month. Men and women from religious and lay organizations participated in the event, including featured speakers Dr. Maryann Cusimano Love of The Catholic University of America, and Ms. Patrizia Morgante of the International Union of ...
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Senator Bob Corker Promotes End to Human Trafficking

Chargé d’Affaires Louis Bono was delighted to welcome Senator Bob Corker to the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See on February 23, 2017. While in Rome, Senator Corker promoted a bipartisan pledge to end human trafficking and slavery. This pledge, a part of the “End it” campaign , was taken by a number of U.S. officials, including President ...
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Senator Tim Kaine Meets Vatican Officials

On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See was delighted to welcome Senator Tim Kaine to Rome and Vatican City. While in the Eternal City, Senator Kaine had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis, and talk about the global migration and refugee crisis. Senator Kaine also discussed this topic with officials from ...
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Anti-Defamation League Shares Objectives with Embassy and Holy See

The U.S. Embassy to the Holy See welcomed members of the Anti-Defamation League for a conversation on civil rights and interfaith dialogue. Following a morning at the Papal audience, the group visited the Embassy to meet with Chargé d’Affaires, Louis Bono.  Chargé Bono addressed the shared drive of the ADL and the Embassy to advocate for religious ...
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U.S. official commends Catholic response to “Slavery at Sea”

Kari Johnstone, Principal Deputy Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, came to Rome to attend an advisory group meeting on maritime human trafficking. In media interviews with Catholic News Service, EWTN and Vatican Radio, she said the Pope’s engagement with the issue of human trafficking has positively impacted efforts to fight it, and she ...
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2016 Trafficking in Persons report released

This week, the U.S. State Department released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons report. The report details the challenges and strategies of combating human trafficking, as well as how well specific countries work to prevent trafficking and modern slavery. “If there is a single theme to this year’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report , it is the conviction that there is ...
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2015 Human Rights Report notes decline in freedoms

Today, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor released the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015 . The human rights report detailed a decline in “fundamental freedoms” and a weakening of democratic institutions in many countries. Secretary of State John Kerry’s preface to the report can be seen below. The 2015 edition of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices points to a global ...
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U.S. Interreligious Dialogue Expert speaks about Climate Change

What can interreligious dialogue contribute to combating climate change?  A lot according to the U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs, Shaun Casey.  In Part II of a wide ranging interview with Vatican Radio’s Tracey McClure, Casey recounted his involvement in the 30 November – 12 December 2015 UN Climate Change Conference ...
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U.S. Anti-Trafficking Ambassador addresses Vatican Summit

A Vatican summit of legal experts from around the world discussed ways of combating human trafficking and organized crime. The two day meeting was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and included an audience with Pope Francis and the signing of a final declaration. Over a hundred judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and representatives of legal organizations from ...
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Making Democracy One’s Own: Muslim and Catholic Perspectives

On May 30 and 31, 2016, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See, Ken Hackett, and U.S. Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs, Shaun Casey, spoke at “Making Democracy One’s Own,” a conference that was co-hosted by the University of Notre Dame, John Cabot University, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sophia University ...
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U.S. Expert speaks about State of Interreligious Dialogue

The U.S. State Department’s Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs says religious literacy is at the heart of educated citizenship and that interfaith interaction in the classroom and on the soccer field can build healthy, pluralist societies. Shaun Casey was in Rome this week at a conference (see picture) and also spoke to Vatican Radio’s ...
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U.S. Expert urges Protection for Religious Minorities

Knox Thames, Special Adviser for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia, visited Rome to meet with Vatican officials about preventing religious persecution in the Middle East. Speaking to journalists, he laid out the challenges for Christian communities in Iraq, for whom the “door is closing” due to persecution by the ...
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U.S. Embassy offers Peacebuilding Training for Women Religious

The Embassy of the United States of America to the Holy See organized and sponsored a conflict prevention training at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). The participants, women religious working in areas affected by conflict, focused on strategic planning, conflict analysis frameworks and problem solving in the search for peaceful resolutions to conflict. The highly interactive training on peacebuilding, ...
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U.S. Embassy supports book by Dominican Sisters

The Embassy of the United States of America to the Holy See sponsored the launch of the book Preaching Justice  Volume II, a collection of writing that documents the contribution of Dominican Sisters to social ethics in the 20th century. Several of the book’s contributors wrote about how the Dominican Sisters have built peace across the world, resisting oppression and promoting healthcare while working ...
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Embassy hosts conference on shared U.S., Vatican interests

Care for the environment and international religious freedom were at the forefront of an Embassy-sponsored conference on the shared policy interests of the United States and the Holy See this week. The conference, “On Care for Our Common Home: U.S. and Vatican Engagement on Global Issues,” brought together Embassy and Vatican officials as well as ...
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Ambassador hosts briefing on migration crisis

Ambassador Hackett, in conjunction with the International Union Superiors General (UISG), hosted an information-sharing event in support of women’s religious orders confronting the migration crisis in Sicily. Fellow ambassadors to the Holy See, media, members of religious orders and international migration organizations and staff from the three United States Embassies in Rome attended. After introductions ...
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Special envoy for Great Lakes discusses democracy

Ahead of a visit to the region, U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa, Thomas Perriello, visited Vatican Radio to discuss the elections of two countries in the area: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi. Perriello, who met with Vatican officials this week, said that while the DRC has the ...
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Embassy Sponsors Congo Mining Documentary ‘Maisha’

Thursday, the Good Shepherd International Foundation screened its documentary  Maisha: A New Life Outside the Mines  in Rome. The film, which documented the cobalt and copper mining industries in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. The documentary tells the story of the mining community in Kolwezi and how the Good Shepherd sisters are helping ...
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U.S. Envoys discuss Vatican document Nostra Aetate

50 years ago, the Second Vatican Council released the declaration Nostra Aetate, which noted the spiritual and intellectual contributions of the world’s major religions and particularly decried acts of antisemitism. In town for the anniversary, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Ira Forman and Acting U.S. Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Arsalan Suleman ...
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Ambassador Hackett’s Remarks at the Digital Video Conference on Human Trafficking

Good afternoon ambassadors, colleagues, and friends. It is my pleasure to join Bishop Sanchez Sorondo in welcoming you all here today to hear from Ambassador Luis CdeBaca about this year’s U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report.  Bishop Sanchez Sorondo is a champion of the effort at combating human trafficking.  Recently he has held ...
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Ambassador Hackett’s Remarks at St. John’s University’s “International Religious Freedom and the Clash of Values” Conference

Religious freedom has been a core value of Americans since the founding of our nation.  It was the pursuit of religious freedom that gave impetus to the settlers in establishing the American colonies, and, throughout the years, it has remained fundamental to American beliefs.  As Secretary Kerry has stated, “Freedom of religion is not an ...
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Ambassador Hackett’s Remarks at the Launch of Talitha Kum’s Countering Trafficking in Persons Campaign for the 2014 World Cup

The U.S. Embassy is proud to be here today to support Talitha Kum’s campaign to combat trafficking in persons during this year’s World Cup.  Combating this scourge is an important goal of both the United States and the Catholic Church.  Pope Francis has spoken out strongly against what he calls “a crime against humanity.”  And ...
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