2016 World Day of Prayer Against Human Trafficking

BakhitaBe Inspired by St Josephine Bakhita and Help Combat Human Trafficking

Australians are being urged to become more aware of the extent of human trafficking and slavery in this country and to respond to Pope Francis’ call to join with the global community in ending the injustice against so many people, particularly children.

Pope Francis has designated the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita which falls on 8 February as the world day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking. Talitha Kum (UISG-USG) has declared the theme of this year’s feast day celebrations, which are likely to be celebrated at Masses on the weekend of February 11 and 12: They are children! Not slaves!

St Josephine Bakhita, who died on 8 February 1947, was born in Southern Sudan in 1869, and during her life experienced kidnapping and slavery in both Sudan and Italy. After gaining her freedom Josephine Bakhita dedicated her life to sharing her story and to supporting the poor and suffering. She eventually became a Canossian Sister and was canonised in 2000.

Like Josephine Bakhita, millions of children are trafficked into domestic servitude every year. They are also trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography production, forced marriage, illegal adoption, forced labour, and to become child soldiers. The United Nations estimates that one in every three victims of trafficking is a child. It is estimated that 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.

ACRATH has developed the following resources for Parishes and school communities:

  • A St Josephine Bakhita poster to display in your community
  • A brief notice for parish or school bulletins
  • Homily notes for Masses on the weekend of February 11 & 12
  • Prayers of intercession for Masses on the weekend of February 11 & 12 or for inclusion at school assemblies

Find these and other resources for the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking here.

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