World Day of Prayer and Reflection against human trafficking

“Walking for dignity. Listen. Dream. Act.” It is the theme of this tenth World Day that is celebrated every February 8, established in 2015 by Pope Francis on the occasion of the liturgical memory of Saint Bahkita, the Sudanese religious victim of trafficking and universal symbol of the Church’s commitment against this scourge

Vatican Media
Vatican Media

From February 2 to 8, the week of mobilization and prayer will take place with a meeting in Rome of fifty young people from all continents committed against human trafficking.

The World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, celebrated each year on February 8, has become the universal symbol of the Church’s commitment against this plague of society.

This day is promoted by the International Union of Superiors (USG) and Superiors General (UISG). And the coordination of the network of collaborators and affiliates is in charge of Talitha Kum, the international network founded by the UISG and committed against human trafficking.

“Walking for dignity. Listen. Dream. Act.” It is the theme of the tenth World Day of Prayer and Reflection against human trafficking, which was established in 2015 by Pope Francis on the occasion of the liturgical memory of Saint Bahkita, the Sudanese nun who was a victim of trafficking and a universal symbol of the commitment of the Church against this scourge.

Phenomenon in constant and dramatic evolution

It should be noted that trafficking is the process by which people are coerced or lured with false prospects, recruited, transferred and forced to work and live in exploitative or abusive conditions. It is a phenomenon, as recent UN reports warn, in constant and dramatic evolution.

A week with young people as protagonists

Thousands of people from all over the world – in numerous parishes, communities, associations – will gather to reflect, pray, and share their experience of commitment against this global phenomenon.

Fifty young representatives of the international network promoting the Day are expected in Rome. They are students, volunteers, researchers, artists, communicators, activists and workers in the fight against trafficking, and from February 2 to 8 they will be at the center of training and awareness meetings on human trafficking.

The initiatives, in which they will participate, will begin on February 2 with the arrival of all delegates in Rome. Training and awareness activities on the issue of trafficking are planned for the next day, and on the morning of Sunday, February 4, participation in the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square.

Water, fire, air, metal and earth

On Tuesday afternoon, February 6, a flash-mob against human trafficking will take place in the Roman Square of Santa Maria in Trastevere. Next, in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, there will be an Ecumenical Vigil in five languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) based on the 5 elements: water, fire, air, metal and earth.

On Wednesday, February 7, the international group will attend the General Audience with Pope Francis in the Paul VI Hall in Vatican City.

Online pilgrimage to all continents

On Thursday, February 8, the Online Pilgrimage of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking will take place on all continents and time zones. From 9:30 a.m. with Oceania, followed by Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, South America and, finally, it will close at 4:30 p.m. with North America. More than fifty countries will participate and the central block, for the second consecutive year, is entrusted to young people committed to fighting trafficking. As in recent years, a message from Pope Francis is also expected.

The event will be broadcast live in 5 languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian) on

Sister Abby Avelino, coordinator of the Day, states that “trafficking is around us, in our cities, but it is often invisible to our eyes. With this Day we want to raise awareness about trafficking, reflect on the situation of violence and injustice that the victims of this global phenomenon suffer and point to concrete solutions.”

“Therefore, we invite everyone to listen carefully and observe; to dream together with young people of a better world and to act to change the situation, starting with a personal, community and institutional commitment to fight with determination and effectiveness against the causes of trafficking and exploitation”

The network of the day

The initiative is coordinated by Talitha Kum, the international network against human trafficking, with more than six thousand sisters, friends and collaborators, and is promoted by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and the Union of Superiors General (USG) , in collaboration with the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, the Dicastery for Communication, the Pope’s World Prayer Network, Caritas Internationalis, CoatNet, the Focolare Movement, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the International Union of Associations Catholic Women (UMOFC), JPIC – Working Group against Trafficking in Persons (UISG/UISG), Congregations for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Clewer Initiative, Pope John XXIII Community Association, the International Federation of the Catholic Action, the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts (Agesci), the Santa Marta Group and many other organizations around the world. The Conference is held with the support of the GSF – Global Solidarity Fund.

The day in X

The organizers invite you to dedicate a tweet on February 8 using the official hashtag #PrayAgainstTrafficking