The FOURTH International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons under the Patronage of St Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947) – 8 February 2018
2018 theme of the Day of Prayer and Awareness:
“Migration without trafficking. Say yes to Freedom and No to slavery”
Speaking on the eve of the Day of Prayer and Awareness Raising against Human Trafficking, 7 February 2018, Pope Francis urged civil society and institutions to take concrete action to protect the victims and eliminate this terrible scourge that affects so many forced migrants and refugees.
Pope Francis noted that many migrants are forced to choose illegal channels of migration where they are submitted to “abuse of every kind, exploitation and slavery.”
He noted that criminal organizations that engage in the trafficking of persons make use of migratory routes to hide their victims among the migrants and refugees.
Pope Francis also asked for prayers so that “the Lord may convert the hearts of traffickers and give hope to those who suffer because of this shameful scourge so they may regain their freedom”.
“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” said William Wilberforce, an English politician, philanthropist, theologian and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade who lived in the XVIII/XIX century.
Daily Prayer to End Human Trafficking
God of goodness and mercy,
Rewarder of the humble,
You blessed St Josephine Bakhita of Sudan
with charity and patience.
May her prayers help us and her example
inspire us to carry our cross
and to love You always.
Pour upon us the spirit of wisdom
and love with which you filled St Josephine Bakhita,
by serving You as she did.
May her prayers on behalf of those enslaved
bring awareness and an end to this evil practice.
May we too please You by our faith and actions,
through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union
with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.