“In face of this tragic reality, no one can wash his hands without being, in a certain sense, an accomplice of this crime against humanity,” stresses Pope Francis in his video for the month of February’s prayer intention against human trafficking.
“Although we try to ignore it, slavery is not something of another age . . . We can’t ignore that slavery exists in the world, as much or maybe more than before,” he laments in his video made public on February 7, 2019.
“The television news and written press talk about it every day. They are called economic migrants, refugees, illegal immigrants, “non-EU,” displaced, unaccompanied minors, caravans, or whatever you wish, very often forgetting that they are persons, one can read in the presentation of the intention given by the Pope’s Global Prayer Network. They are millions; they flee every day their lands because of war, famine, political and religious persecutions, situations of extreme poverty and all forms of abuse.”
“On the other hand,” laments the text, “what we don’t see, are the criminal organizations that profit from this, reducing men, women and children to slavery, by work or sexually, for the trafficking or organs, to exploit begging or delinquency.”
Father Frederic Foros, SJ, International Director of the Network, asks the question: ”In face of this human tragedy, in face of so much suffering, of disarray and anguish of men, women and children who are victims of human trafficking and slavery, often in a context of migrations, what can we do? Denounce our complicity but also pray. The cry of a prayer, which comes from the heart, and of which the Psalms are an echo.”
“Pope Francis is intensely engaged in the fight against this scourge in its different expressions,” he continues, “In collaboration with Talitha Kum, the global network of consecrated life working against human trafficking, the “Migrants and Refugees” Section of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development, the Jesuit Refuge Service, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Apostleship of the Sea. The Pope’s Global Prayer Network joins the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against the Trafficking of Persons under the hashtag #TogetherAgainstHumanTrafficking.
This Day is observed on February 8th, anniversary of the death of Saint Josephine Bakhita