Today we ask you to set aside time to pray for victims of human trafficking, and for the conversion of heart of those who manipulate and abuse them.
According to the United Nations’ Global Report on Trafficking, trafficking victims are targeted when they are vulnerable. The isolation and economic hardship of COVID-19 will result in more people at risk.
The Cabrini charism is centered on being and demonstrating love where love is missing, and on being a sign of hope where hope is lacking. Please join us in prayer today as we pray for the most vulnerable. Scroll down to learn more about practical steps you can take to end the scourge of trafficking. Mother Cabrini’s spirit lives on today through all those who strive to communicate, demonstrate, and make Jesus known through tangible acts of love, mercy and justice.
“Human trafficking is an open wound on the body of contemporary society” ~Pope Francis
Trusting in God’s love and care for the oppressed, let us lift up prayer for victims of human trafficking, saying: “Hear us, God of freedom.”
For an end to the coercion and exploitation of vulnerable persons at factories, farms, and brothels, we pray…
For an eradication of the poverty and lack of opportunity that breeds human trafficking, we pray…
For a greater awareness of the reality and signs of human trafficking in our midst, we pray…
For the conversion of heart of those who coerce and victimize others, we pray…
For cooperation between governments and social service agencies to neutralize traffickers and their networks, we pray…
Psalm 142: 2-8
R: I cry out to you Lord, for you are my refuge.
With my own voice I cry to the LORD; with my own voice I beseech the LORD. Before him I pour out my complaint, tell of my distress in front of him. R.
When my spirit is faint within me, you know my path. As I go along this path, they have hidden a trap for me. R.
I look to my right hand to see that there is no one willing to acknowledge me. My escape has perished; no one cares for me. R.
I cry out to you, LORD, I say, You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living. Listen to my cry for help, for I am brought very low. R.
Rescue me from my pursuers, for they are too strong for me. Lead my soul from prison, that I may give thanks to your name. Then the righteous shall gather around me because you have been good to me. R.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
According to Polaris Project statistics, California, Texas, Florida, and New York have the most trafficking cases — that’s no surprise, considering these are densely-populated states bordering water. But Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, Washington, and Pennsylvania round out the top ten, which confirms that even if you don’t live in an obvious “hotspot” trafficking can still be a problem close to home.
- Ask a hotel to become part of The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. ECPAT-USA has made it easy with the printable letter located on their website.
- Save 888-373-7888 in your cell phone. This is the hotline at the National Human Trafficking Resource Center sponsored by Polaris Project. The line is staffed 24/7, with multiple language interpreters available to help victims. Victims can also text BEFREE (233733) to be immediately connected to the NHTRC.
- PRAY for all trafficking to end.
- Shop smarter. Use the U.S. Department of Labor’s list of goods commonly produced worldwide by child or forced labor to determine whether the things you buy are ethically harvested/manufactured. Visit SlaveryFootprint.org, a website made in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, for an eye-opening look at how many of the things we use every day come from a supply chain fraught with forced labor.
- Volunteer locally. The Human Trafficking Hotline has an online Referral Directory where you can enter your location and find the anti-trafficking organizations and resources closest to you.
- Raise your voice for the voiceless. Contact your elected officials (find them here) and ask them — relentlessly, if necessary — what they are doing to address the issue of human trafficking. Then offer suggestions!
- Be vocal about this cause! The Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign has an online document library with printable cards, posters, pamphlets, and infographics to help raise awareness.
- Keep yourself informed. The U.S. Department of Justice’s press room has a constantly-updated database of press releases pertaining to human trafficking. You can also see breaking news on the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) website’s news feed.
- Encourage your workplace to provide pertinent training. Anyone working in the healthcare industry (including social workers and behavioral health professionals) can take SOAR training. Those in law enforcement and criminal justice can access training through the Office for Victims of Crime Training & Technical Assistance Center.
- Ask your child’s school to adopt protocols for anti-trafficking. Your district can find resources and a sample protocol, via the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments.
- Use your skills for a good cause. No matter what you do professionally, or what you’re talented at, there’s some way to use your strengths. Do you provide a service that you or your employer could donate “pro bono” to victims of trafficking?
You can also read what religious sisters around the world, including the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, are doing to stop trafficking at Talitha Kum.