Brigidine Sisters invite you to join with them in marking the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita on 8 February. This day has been designated by Pope Francis as the world day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking. Talitha Kum (UISG-USG) has declared the theme of this year’s celebrations: They are Children! Not Slaves!
St Josephine Bakhita, who died on 8 February 1947, was born in Southern Sudan in 1869. During her life she experienced kidnapping and slavery in both Sudan and Italy. After gaining her feedom Josephine Bakhita dedicated her life to sharing her story and supporting the poor and suffering. She eventually became a Canossian Sister and was canonised in 2000.
Like Josephine Bakhita, millions of children are trafficked into domestic servitude each year. They are also trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography production, forced marriage, illegal adoption, forced labour, and to become child soldiers. The United Nations estimates that one in every three victims of trafficking is a child. It is estimated that 30 million children have lost their childhood through sexual exploitation over the past 30 years.
ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) has prepared valuable resources for communities, parishes and schools to use.