February 8 is marked by the Catholic Church in England and Wales as the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking.
Bishop Patrick Lynch described it as ‘a wonderful opportunity – every year – to remember and pray for those who have suffered from the dreadful experience of having been trafficked and an opportunity to recommit ourselves as the Church to doing everything we can to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking from the world in which we live’.
Prayers, a prayer card and poster for the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking are available on the Catholic Church in England and Wales website.
Archbishop of Canterbury joins Ecumenical Patriarch to fight modern slavery
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople have issued a joint statement on modern slavery at a forum in Istanbul.
The Declaration, agreed at the Sins Before Our Eyes forum, pledged to:
- Condemn all forms of human enslavement
- Commend the efforts of the international community
- Pray for all victims
- Repent for not doing enough to curb modern day slavery
- Appeal to governments to implement strict modern day slavery laws
- Urge members of the Orthodox Church and Church of England to become educated, raise awareness and take action
- Commit to establish a joint taskforce for modern day slavery, looking at ways for how the Orthodox Church and the Church of England can work together
Addressing the forum, Justin Welby said ‘Despite the best efforts of nineteenth century abolitionists like William Wilberforce, slavery – one of the most extreme forms of injustice – is more rampant today than at any time in human history’. Figures from the International Labour Organisation and the Global Slavery Index estimate that between 20.9 and 45.8 million people are caught up in slavery worldwide.
For more information on the joint statement on modern slavery, including the text of Justin Welby’s speech, see the Archbishop of Canterbury’s website.