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Pray for Human Trafficking Victims on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
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The need for human trafficking awareness and education continues to grow, as reports to anti-trafficking hotlines have increased at alarming rates since last year.
Human Trafficking can happen to anyone, anywhere in the world.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - July 30th has been designated the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations.
In respect for the day, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, an auxiliary bishop of Washington and the chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, called for Catholics to life our arms up in prayer.
"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," he expressed. "We are renewing our call to educating about human trafficking and proclaiming the value of all human life."
"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."
The first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was declared in 2013. This year's day turns a focus to appreciation for the first responders who help prevent trafficking and rescue victims.
"This year's World Day Against Trafficking in Persons honours the first responders helping to end the crime of human trafficking: law enforcement officers, social workers, healthcare professionals, NGO staff and many others working around the world to protect the vulnerable," said a published statement from UN Secretary-General AntĂłnio Guterres, according to Catholic News Agency.
With schools being shut down due to COVID-19, the world is witnessing an increase in trafficking and the challenges in conquering the issue and the reality of not having teachers present to report suspected child abuse.
According the the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the number of tips concerning child exploitation nearly doubled in March 2020 from what it was in March 2019.
"COVID-19 has presented challenges and opportunities in the fight against child sexual exploitation," said a statement from John Shehan, vice president of the NCMEC's exploited child division. "In the first quarter of 2020, NCMEC became aware of predators openly discussing the pandemic as an opportunity to entice unsupervised children into producing sexually explicit material. At the same time, we experienced an explosion in reporting to our CyberTipline from both the public and electronic service providers."
Join us in praying for those affected by human trafficking.
We seek your divine protection for all who are exploited and enslaved.
For those forced into labor, trafficked into sexual slavery, and denied freedom.
We beseech you to release them from their chains.
Grant them protection, safety, and empowerment.
Restore their dignity and provide them a new beginning.
Show us how we might end exploitation by addressing its causes.
Help us reach out in support of victims and survivors of human trafficking.
Make us instruments of your spirit for their liberation.
For this we pray through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
(From USCCB handout for World Day of Peace 2015)
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