The Church always starts from the central tenet of respect for the sublime dignity of human persons. Catholic Social Teaching maintains that acts that constitute an affront to human dignity, such as slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children as well as treatment of humans as mere tools for profit, are infamies that poison human society. Today the Church considers its role in combating human trafficking, i.e. modern-day slavery, as prophetic and necessary. Pope Benedict XVI has emphasized the need for "a renewed awareness of the inestimable value of life and an ever more courageous commitment to the defense of human rights and the overcoming of every type of abuse." Simultaneously, he has expressed deep appreciation for the laudable anti-trafficking initiatives.