Addressing the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus, His Holiness Pope Francis recalled that Monday, 30 July, is World Day against Trafficking in Persons, promoted by the United Nations. The Pontiff has appealed to all men and women of goodwill to take responsibility, denounce injustice and stand firm against the “shameful crime” of human trafficking.

As reported by Vatican Radio, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “This scourge reduces many men, women and children to slavery. It’s aim is to exploit them for cheap labour, for the sex trade, for the trade of organs, to force them to beg or to engage in delinquency.”

The Church marks 8 February, the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, as the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. The patron saint of Sudan’s life was a journey from slavery to freedom and faith, and her life story inspires hope in the face of indifference and exploitation.