All Christians are invited to participate in an online Prayer Marathon on Monday, 8 February, marking the 7th International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.
The marathon has been organized by the International Committee of the World Day, coordinated by Talitha Kum, the network of consecrated life against trafficking in persons of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). Other partners include the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Service to Integral Human Development, Caritas Internationalis, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations, the Focolare Movement and many other local organizations involved at the local level.
Event organizers announced that with this online marathon, it will be the first time that every organization working against trafficking in persons will be able to participate in the main event together.
An economy without Human Trafficking
The theme chosen for 2021 is “An Economy without Human Trafficking”. It brings into the spotlight “one of the main causes of human trafficking: the dominant economic model of our time, whose limits and contradictions are exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” reads a statement on the organisation’s website.
This 7th International Day of Prayer and Awareness, it says, “is an invitation to multiply and promote new economic experiences that oppose all forms of exploitation.”
8 February, the statement explains, is “an important date because it marks the liturgical memorial of St. Bakhita, the slave girl who became a saint and universal symbol of the Church’s commitment against slavery.”
In explaining this year’s initiative, Sr Gabriella Bottani, coordinator of Talitha Kum, says: “With ‘The Economy of Francesco’, the Holy Father has asked the Church to stop and reflect on the dominant economic model and to find alternative paths. We found ourselves perfectly in tune, since the trafficking of people is an integral part of an economy of exclusion, where the rules of the market are destroying the fundamental values of human coexistence, based on respect for dignity but also on the protection of the environment. The dominant economic model is one of the main structural causes of human trafficking in our globalized world. Through this day, let us trace together a path of reflection for an economy that promotes life and dignified work for all”.
Participating in the prayer initiative
This year an online Marathon of Prayer has been organized due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It will take place on Monday from 10 am to 5 pm CET. There will also be a moment of prayer all together at 1 pm CET. It will be attended by all the Talitha Kum networks around the world, divided into blocks according to continents.
Event organizers also announced that a video message of Pope Francis will air around 1:40pm.
Individuals can support the World Day through the official hashtag #PrayAgainstTrafficking.