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.
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:
- Go to the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking website and light the candle.
- Pray alone or arrange a prayer service with friends or at work. (Prayers/Prayer service in different languages).
- Watch Caritas Lebanon’s short video on the link between trafficking and the clothes we wear.
- Watch a video on why people need COATNET.
- Read Caritas stories on trafficking.
- Read a blog by the director of Caritas Nigeria on the need for mercy towards trafficking victims.
- Read the Christian Commitment Paper on Trafficking and Caritas France’s Trafficking in Human Beings in Conflict and Post-conflict Situation report
- Support projects aimed at offering assistance to victims, in particular protected shelters, legal and psycho-social and spiritual support
- 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.