Pope: Human Trafficking ‘Disfigures Dignity’

March 14, 2023

Pope Francis has launched an appeal to combat “the shameful scourge” of human trafficking, decrying that it “disfigures dignity.”

The Pope’s cry came in a video message for the ninth World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking, released Wednesday, 8 February, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita.

The Catholic Church’s annual observance was first introduced by Pope Francis in 2015 when he invited women and men religious of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and the Union of Superiors General (USG) to mark the day on the liturgical memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita, patron saint for victims of human trafficking.

The United Nations separately marks its own World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July.

‘Journeying in dignity’

The Pope began by recalling this year’s theme “Journeying in dignity,” which involves young people as protagonists.

The Holy Father addressed young people in a special way, encouraging them “to care for dignity, yours and of every person you meet.”

Being committed to protecting human dignity and against human trafficking, he said, “you can contribute to keeping hope alive, and I would also add joy, which I invite you to preserve in your hearts, along with the Word of God, because the true joy is Christ!”

Read the full article by Deborah Castellano Lubov on Vatican News.