10th edition of The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

10th edition of The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking


“Let us help one another to be more responsive, to open our lives and hearts to our sisters and brothers who even now are being bought and sold as slaves.  It is never too late to take action.” – Pope Francis


On February 8 2024, the 10th edition of The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on the theme: Journeying in Dignity: Listen, Dream, Act. More than 200 people from all over the world took part in the online pilgrimage to mark this Day.

The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking is celebrated annually on the Feast of Saint Josephine Bakhita on 8 February, since formally established in 2015. The primary objective of this Day is to create a greater awareness of the phenomenon of human trafficking and to reflect on the situation of violence and injustice that affects so many people’s lives. Another goal is to attempt to provide solutions to counter human trafficking by taking concrete actions.


"We are called to listen, dream and act together. Journeying in dignity is a call to transformation.” – stated Sr. Abby Avelino, MM, Coordinator of Talitha Kum International, in her opening words. “Answering the call to prayer, let us include everyone, survivors and perpetrators, for the transformative way of care, love and mercy.” – she added.

Sr. Pat Murray, the Executive Secretary of the UISG, urged everyone not only to listen and dream, but also to act: “We must advocate in behalf of those trafficked. We must raise our voices and join the survivors, when they raise their voices.”

The words of welcome from Vice-President of UISG, sr. Graciela Francovig and Executive Secretary of USG, fr. Emili Turu, followed. Sr. Graciela encouraged participants to keep dreaming about the world free from human trafficking, as we should never get used to the reality in which this phenomenon is present. Fr. Emili on his part thanked all involved in the fight against human trafficking for their commitment.


Card. Michael Czerny, the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development, also addressed the participants:  “To listen means to abandon indifference, not turn our backs on the injustice. (…) To act is to transform dreams in reality – it requires courage and purpose.”


After introductions, the prayer marathon began, crossing all continents and time zones, starting at 9:30 am from Oceania, followed by Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, South America concluded at 4:30 pm with North America. Over 50 countries worldwide were represented.

The central block, for the second consecutive year, was entrusted to young people from all over the world engaged against trafficking, who met in Rome from 2 to 9 February.

As in recent years, Pope Francis sent a message for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking: “We know that the fight against trafficking can be won, but it is necessary to get to the root of the problem and eliminate its causes.  I encourage you, then, to respond to this appeal for transformation, in memory of Saint Josephine Bakhita, who stands for all those men and women who, despite their enslavement, can still attain freedom.  It is a call to take action, to mobilize all our resources in combatting trafficking and restoring full dignity to those who have been its victims.  If we close our eyes and ears, if we do nothing, we will be guilty of complicity.”

Read Pope’s message in full


Margaret Mary Moore

This was an excellent program and event. Many thanks for your inspiring work and commitment! We are grateful and blessed!

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