Pope Francis has made it a priority of his papacy to take action on human trafficking and slavery which he calls "a wound unworthy in a civil society".
He has initiated the Santa Marta Group in this battle against human trafficking involving the security forces of various countries, episcopates, social organisations and representatives of various religious confessions.
In his address to the United Nations in New York last year, the Pope reiterated, “Today the 193 states of the United Nations have a new moral imperative to combat human trafficking, a true crime against humanity. Collaboration between bishops and the civil authorities, each in accordance with his own mission and character and with the aim of discovering best practice for the fulfilment of this delicate task, is a decisive step to ensuring that the will of governments reaches the victims in a direct, immediate, constant, effective and concrete way”.
The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192. In his message for the 2015 United Nations Day Against Trafficking in Person UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, “Around the world, criminals are selling people for profit. Vulnerable women and girls form the majority of human trafficking victims, including those driven into degrading sexual exploitation. Trafficked persons are often tricked into servitude with the false promise of a well-paid job. Migrants crossing deadly seas and burning deserts to escape conflict, poverty and persecution are also at risk of being trafficked. Individuals can find themselves alone in a foreign land where they have been stripped of their passports, forced into debt and exploited for labour. Children and young people can find their lives stolen, their education blocked and their dreams dashed. It is an assault on their most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms…..Every country must join together to overcome this transnational threat by supporting and protecting victims while pursuing and prosecuting the criminals. On the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let us resolve to act as one in the name of justice and dignity for all.”
To mark this day, you can use this prayer resource on the website of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and support their work and advocacy.