Pope Francis blesses touching statue to raise awareness about human trafficking

 | 
07/02/2022
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Each February 8, the Church observes the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. 

In 2022, it will be marked by a day-long prayer marathon organized by Talitha Kum, a network of religious sisters working in more than 92 countries worldwide to combat human trafficking. 

It's international coordinator, Sr. Gabriella Bottani, says the pandemic has put even more people at risk of being trafficked.

SR. GABRIELLA BOTTANI
International Coordinator, Talitha Kum

The time we are living in which for the last two years has been marked by the pandemic, has increased the number of vulnerable situations which are exploited by traffickers.

During the Angelus, the Pope encouraged these sisters to continue their work with victims of human trafficking, and blessed a statue they presented to the diocese of Rome.

POPE FRANCIS
A special greeting goes to the women religious of the group Talitha Kum, who are working against human trafficking. Thank you for what you do, for your courage. Thank you. I encourage you in your work and I bless the statue of Saint Josephine Bakhita.

The statue is a moving depiction of St. Josephine Bakhita, a former slave and universal symbol of the Church's commitment to fighting human trafficking. 

SR. GABRIELLA BOTTANI
International Coordinator, Talitha Kum

She is a woman who, with a simple gesture, holds open a manhole which joins the world of darkness with the world of light, the submerged world with the visible one, and from this manhole emerge the people who represent the different forms of trafficking in all its realities in the world.

Human trafficking occurs in all parts of the world, and as such participants from over 30 countries and all continents will participate in the day of prayer. Together they aim to raise awareness about the over 40 million modern slaves worldwide, of which an estimated 72% are women and girls. 

JM

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