Stop Human Trafficking Parish Toolkit

 

February 8 is St. Josephine Bakhita’s feast day and the International Day of Prayer & Awareness Against Trafficking

Raise Awareness

Post the National Human Trafficking Hotline poster with contact information (English and Spanish) in parish bathrooms. Police have reported that trafficking victims often are permitted to go to church so that may be the opportunity to help.

Bulletin/Flocknote/Web Announcements

Know the Signs of Human Trafficking

40 million people are victims of human trafficking today. A trafficking victim is someone forced, tricked or coerced to work without pay or perform commercial sex acts and unable to walk away. Victims are of any age, race, gender, nationality, and socioeconomic group. Some warning signs include excessive fear, signs of abuse, isolation, lacking ID, always with an older friend, restricted or scripted communication, working excessive hours, or being threatened. If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888. www.mdcatholic.org/trafficking

Know the Signs of Human Trafficking

Human traffickers prey on the most vulnerable – the homeless, runaways, foster youth, immigrants, survivors of sexual abuse and family violence, those in the justice system or with substance addictions. Many individuals are trafficked from their own home, school or neighborhood. Human trafficking is based on exploitation. It does not have to involve movement or border crossing. Frequent locations for sex trafficking are illicit massage parlors, pornography, hotels, truck stops and similar locations. Labor trafficking often takes place in domestic work, agriculture, restaurants, manufacturing and with sales crews. If you suspect human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888. www.mdcatholic.org/trafficking

Prayers of the Faithful

  • For an end to human trafficking, that the dignity of all of God’s children will be protected, we pray to the Lord.
  • For survivors of human trafficking, that they might find the support they need to start a new life, we pray to the Lord,
  • We pray for our government, that they may make and implement laws that will protect the sanctity of all human life, from beginning to end.
  • For survivors of slavery, that God guide them to a path down which they might find wholeness and peace. Through the intercession of Saint Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of human trafficking survivors, we pray to the Lord.
  • For all of those children, women and men currently trapped in situations of slavery that God will help to liberate them from their chains. Through the intercession of Saint Peter Claver, patron saint of slaves, we pray to the Lord.
  • For all those vulnerable to being trafficked, especially immigrants and refugees, orphans and runaways that God give them safe passage and safe homes. Through the intercession of Saints Frances Xavier Cabrini and Jerome Emiliani, we pray to the Lord.

Additional Resources

The Vatican and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a number of resources to address human trafficking more in-depth. These include: