On July 30th every year, the United Nations promotes World Day Against Trafficking Persons.Human trafficking is a form of modern–day slavery. The definition of human trafficking is:
- Sex trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; (and)
- Labor trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to subject victims to engage in commercial sex or forced labor. Anyone can be a victim of trafficking anywhere. However, the poor people, refugees and asylum seekers are especially vulnerable. We all need to be alert to signs of trafficking and report it to proper authorities. In many countries, “hot lines” are available for reporting suspected trafficking.
Holy One, we pray for an end to human trafficking. Give hope, courage and help to those caught in the snare of traffickers. Help them to seek and find a safe way out, so that they can live in freedom and security. Change the hearts of those who enslave others against their wills. Help them to see the dignity and humanity of every person and to reject coercion, violence and exploitation of the most vulnerable among us. Open our eyes to see, report and reach out to those being trafficked. Fill us with courage and compassion for those suffering from modern-day slavery.