WASHINGTON – The United Nations designated July 30 as the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in 2013 to raise awareness of the devastating impact human trafficking has on women, men, and children and to promote survivors’ rights and human dignity. The international day is observed annually in the United States and throughout the world. There are nearly 25 million individuals trapped in modern-day slavery, according to the International Labor Organization. Human trafficking a “crime against humanity,” Pope Francis has said because it is “an unjustifiable violation of the victims’ freedom and dignity, which are integral dimensions of the human person willed and created by God.”
Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration issued the following statement:
“Today we take a moment to pray for all victims and survivors of human trafficking and to reflect upon our responsibilities as individuals and as a Church to make their well-being and protection a priority. We are renewing our call to educating about human trafficking and proclaiming the value of all human life. Pope Francis reminds us. . . that ‘it is the responsibility of all to denounce these injustices and to firmly oppose this shameful crime.’ We are called by our Holy Father to take a firm stance against this terrible violation of the dignity of the human person and to do everything in our power to eradicate it.”
To commemorate this day and highlight Catholic organizations working to prevent and eliminate all forms of human trafficking, the USCCB will host a webinar at 1pm Eastern on July 30. Registration for the webinar can be found here and resources on raising awareness and fighting trafficking may be found on the Justice for Immigrants website and www.usccb.org/stopslavery.
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