How I wish that all of us would hear God’s cry: ‘Where is your brother?’ (Gen. 4:9). Where is your brother or sister who is enslaved? Where is the brother and sister whom you are killing each day in clandestine warehouses, in rings of prostitution, in children used for begging, in exploiting undocumented labor? Let us not look the other way." - Pope Francis, Evangelli Gaudium


Stop Human Trafficking and Exploitation. Protect, Help, Empower, and Restore Dignity (SHEPHERD) educates lay and religious leaders about human trafficking from a Catholic perspective, equipping them with needed knowledge and skills to combat forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation at the local level. If you are from a parish, diocese, school, or community group and want to respond to the Church's call for heightened commitment against modern-day slavery, then SHEPHERD is for you.

Request the online SHEPHERD leader guide and use our SHEPHERD engagement resources to organize workshops, discussion groups, prayer sessions, community outreach, service activities, and more!

Hear directly from SHEPHERD parishes and dioceses working to prevent trafficking and protect victims in their communities. Watch USCCB's St. Josephine Bakhita webinar.

Our awareness must expand and extend to the very depths of this evil and its farthest reaches … from awareness to prayer … from prayer to solidarity … and from solidarity to concerted action, until slavery and trafficking are no more. -Cardinal Peter Turkso

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January has been designated as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. In addition, January 11th, is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. We have put together an all-inclusive resource for you to use to help spread word. In this toolkit, you will find: Sample Letters to the Editor, Social Media Samples, Homilies, and more.  

Human Trafficking and the Holy See   

To learn more about the Vatican's anti-trafficking outreach and educational activities, visit the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences' human trafficking website.

Host a Film Screening and Discussion

Select from 16 documentaries and feature films and then use the discussion questions to get the conversation started. Due to the nature of the content, these are recommended for older youth, young adult and adult audiences. Check out our SHEPHERD Movie and Discussion Guide.

The Human Trafficking Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross began as the practice of pious pilgrims to Jerusalem who would retrace the final journey of Jesus Christ to Calvary. Later, for the many who wanted to pass along the same route, but could not make the trip to Jerusalem, a practice developed that eventually took the form of the fourteen stations currently found in almost every church. The Human Trafficking Stations of the Cross is a resource for you to meditate on the human rights violation of trafficking and its parallels to His suffering on his last day. Through these meditations and prayers, we remember all of those who are trafficked into modern day slavery and suffer at the hands of their captors. Downloads of the stations are available in English and Spanish.