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WASHINGTON—The International Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking will be observed on February 8th. Designated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General as a time of remembrance for victims and survivors of forced labor and commercial sex trafficking, the day coincides with the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.
With an estimated over 25 million women, children, and men trapped in modern-day slavery, February 8th offers an opportunity to educate communities of faith about the prevalence of trafficking and to pray for its victims, who are often "hidden in plain sight". Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, notes "through prayer we grow in solidarity with those that have suffered this affront to human dignity. We demonstrate to survivors that they are not alone."
In honor of this important day, the USCCB's Migration and Refugee Services, the Archdiocese of Washington, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and Trinity Washington University will host an Inter-Religious Prayer Service to remember victims and survivors of human trafficking, and to reflect on how we can unite against modern-day slavery. The service will take place on February 8th at 6:30 PM at the Chapel of Trinity University (125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC). To rsvp for an evening of prayer with representatives from the world's major religions, see Inter-Religious Service.
For help in hosting an awareness event or prayer service locally, visit Become a Shepherd for downloadable resources.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, St. Josephine Bakhita, human trafficking, anti-trafficking, forced labor, modern-day slavery
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