In advance of the first-ever international day of prayer and reflection commissioned by the Vatican and held on Sunday, February 8th, entitled “Turn on a Light against Human Trafficking,” young philanthropists Patrick Gage and Gabriela Isler pledged their commitment to Pope Francis’s campaign against human trafficking by signing the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders against Modern Slavery issued by the Global Freedom Network, an ecumenical organization formed by Pope Francis to eradicate modern slavery around the world.
As a fourth-generation member of the Curtis L. Carlson family (Radisson Hotels, Carlson Wagonlit Travel), philanthropy has been part of Patrick Gage’s life since the day he was born. Currently a junior at Georgetown University, Mr. Gage is Co-Chair of the Nexus Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Working Group which aims to mobilize resources and individuals to invest in high-impact solutions that address the root causes of human trafficking and combat modern-day slavery.
Gabriela Isler, Founder and CEO, Universe of Blessings Fund and Miss Universe 2013, has received a public humanitarian blessing from Pope Francis in recognition of her philanthropic efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan and her mission to empower young women and girls and decrease the rates of adolescent pregnancy. Ms. Isler, a member of the Washington Speakers Bureau, is speaking out about the women victimized by human trafficking and is deeply engaged in the mission of the Global Freedom Network to end modern slavery by 2020 and for all time.
The signing of the declaration was witnessed by Father Leonir Mario Chiarello, Executive Director of the Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) which works to promote the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees, internally displaced people, seafarers, and itinerants around the world. SIMN was established in 2005 by the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles, Scalabrinians, with more than 250 entities involved in various activities and services helping people on the move around the world, including victims of human trafficking.