International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking
Scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2022
Caritas Internationalis is co-organizing and participating in the eighth edition of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Trafficking in Persons, scheduled for Tuesday, February 8, 2022. On this day, the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical memory of Saint Bakhita, a Canossian sister from Sudan who, as a child, was kidnapped and enslaved, becoming the universal symbol of the Church’s commitment against trafficking.
During this day – which this year will focus on the theme The Power of Care – Women, Economics, Human Trafficking – the member organizations are committed to raising awareness on the issue of trafficking, promoting collaboration, networking, and advocacy, and amplifying the voice of women, who survived the trafficking. According to the United Nations statistics on trafficking in persons (“2020 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons”), women and girls account for 72 percent of trafficking victims, a percentage that increases dramatically when “trafficking for sexual exploitation” is included.
“Pope Francis,” said Aloysius John, Secretary-General of Caritas Internationalis, “said that human trafficking is a crime, and Caritas Internationalis joins the Holy Father in denouncing this injustice towards these innocent people and will address with determination the root causes of human trafficking. Caritas Internationalis will continue to receive, defend and accompany these migrants, especially at this moment of the pandemic. In joining this event, Caritas also supports this year’s theme, which focuses on ‘power care’ with a special focus on women. They are the first victims of human trafficking. Caritas also acknowledges the capacity of these women to be resilient and capable of taking their destiny into their own hands.”
All indicators show that the COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the “business” of trafficking in persons, fostering the opportunities and socio-economic mechanisms behind this scourge: it has exacerbated the situations of vulnerability in which women and girls, those most at risk, already found themselves.
The International Day is promoted by the Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes. The coordination of the network of co-organizers, which includes Caritas Internationalis, is entrusted to Talitha Kum.