CNA Staff, Feb 5, 2021 / 04:20 am America/Denver (CNA).
Catholics across the globe will take part in an online prayer marathon on Monday marking the world day of prayer against trafficking.
The prayer will span time zones from Oceania to the Americas on Feb. 8, the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, and the liturgical memorial of St. Josephine Bakhita (1869-1947), patron saint of human trafficking survivors.
The seven-hour global prayer marathon will be broadcast via live-stream with translations in five languages, including English. The broadcast will include a message from Pope Francis, who instituted the annual day of prayer in 2015.
At a U.S. Embassy to the Holy See event in October, experts reported that online exploitation of victims of human trafficking has increased amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Valiant Richey, Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), argued that a failure to address human trafficking during the pandemic would “risk turning this very serious public health crisis into a human trafficking crisis.”