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Human trafficking is the modern-day term for slavery. Women, children and men are bought and sold, beaten, abused and sometimes killed as they are traded like commodities on the invisible trafficking markets across the world.

On 8th February, Caritas invites you to participate in the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking which is promoted by the Union of Superiors General. The day marks the feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese woman who was sold into slavery, abused but later freed.

Caritas in Nepal gives women small loans so they have income-generation options at home and don't have to leave their families. Photo by Sheahen/Caritas

Caritas in Nepal gives women small loans so they have income-generation options at home and don’t have to leave their families. Photo by Sheahen/Caritas

The prayer day is an invitation to us all to explore the world of trafficking and the suffering it inflicts on millions of people. It is an opportunity to learn about what trafficking means and to also explore the material, mental and spiritual impact it has on individuals and societies.

Caritas coordinates the work of COATNET (Christian Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings) which is a network of 42 Christian groups around the world who fight human trafficking. It believes that the first step towards beating trafficking is to raise global awareness on how it dehumanises people and to take this knowledge to the level of action.

The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking is an opportunity to take that first step in the fight against trafficking. See below on how to participate:

Prayer

Awareness

Action

  • Check the supply chains and ensure your clothes and other good haven’t been produced through cheap or enforced labour.
  • Contact a COATNET organisation in your country and ask if you can volunteer.
  • Donate to anti-trafficking projects.
  • Advocate for anti-trafficking laws and their enforcement in your country.

If you work for an anti-trafficking organisation establish collaboration with other local organisations assisting victims, the authorities and prevention programmes and campaign against trafficking together.