This February 8th, the Catholic community in Los Angeles will join the International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking. We remember St. Josephine Bakhita, who in the 19th century was sold into slavery in Sudan. We ask her intercession for the estimated 21 million victims of the modern day slavery of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a grave evil taking place throughout the world and right here in our own neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Traffickers prey particularly on the most vulnerable — those looking for opportunity in the United States, those without families, and unsuspecting young people online.
This year, Archbishop Gomez and Los Angeles Sheriff McDonnell have come together to create a video and social media campaign aimed at educating our community about the evils of trafficking and ways individuals and parishes can get involved to end it.
Most importantly we want to reassure our immigrant communities who are often targeted by traffickers that law enforcement is here to help them and their families stay safe from traffickers and rescue victims, without any fear over immigration status. Local law enforcement (police or sheriffs) will not report victims or their families to immigration authorities. Especially in these unsettled times, your help carrying this message is so important. Please use these materials to spread awareness in your parish.
And we ask you to look for Archbishop Gomez’s video on February 8th on our site: archla.org/humantrafficking