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 Human Trafficking

We are so pleased to announce this partnership between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and local law enforcement to raise awareness about the evil of human trafficking and provide practical resources for victim assistance. It is especially important for our immigrant communities to know that local law enforcement provides victim assistance without reporting to immigration authorities. All of our parishes and schools are being asked to join in prayer against human trafficking and to help increase awareness in their communities.

What Is Trafficking? 

Human trafficking is modern day slavery. At least 21 million people worldwide are forced to work without pay and unable to walk away. Traffickers prey on the most vulnerable - those looking for opportunity in the US, those without families, and unsuspecting young people online. ​
The FBI notes that Los Angeles is one of the major hubs for human trafficking in the United States. Most are involved in domestic trafficking. In fact, 75% of trafficking victims in California were American citizens. While trafficking disproportionately affects women and girls, half of adult victims and one third of child victims are male. And while much of what we read focuses on sex trafficking, a majority of victims worldwide suffer from labor trafficking.
In other words, anyone can become a victim of human trafficking. These are our neighbors, in our schools and businesses and churches.

What can your parish do?

The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking is February 8th, the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita. Throughout the year, and on this day in particular, parishes are encouraged to engage with the issue of human trafficking.


Pray with the St. Josephine Bakhita Prayer Card
In the 19th century, St. Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan. She was sold several times, laboring as a domestic servant and suffering torture. After Josephine was freed, she joined the Canossian sisters in Italy and devoted herself to sharing her testimony of deliverance from slavery and serving the poor and suffering. She was renowned for her joy, gentleness, and holiness. St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!


Promote the Hotline
Put up posters in restrooms at your parish for the CAST hotline or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Law enforcement informed us that trafficking victims are often allowed to go to church, and it may be their only opportunity to be away from their trafficker. 

Educate Your Parish
Help your parish staff, school administration, and parishioners learn to recognize victims of human trafficking. Read more from these flyers from federal agencies:
CAST PSA, en Español​

Go deeper: The USCCB has their Shepherd Toolkit for parishes with information for awareness and prevention. The toolkit includes a movie guide of films parishes can screen about human trafficking, and a list of signs for spotting trafficking victims.

Host a Speaker
Susan Patterson educates parishes, raising awareness of the problem, offering practical ways parishes can fight human trafficking, and including information on prevention such as fair trade, stopping pornography, assisting foster youth, and training youth and parents on identifying traffickers.

Join the Catholic Legislative Network

Sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network's email alerts so you can raise your voice for the life and dignity of the human person in the California legislature. Host a registration day at your parish and sign up parishioners to receive emails as well.

Support Our OneLife LA Community Partners
A21 – has a youth curriculum that teaches kids how to protect themselves from traffickers
Casa de la Familia – offers culturally sensitive support and counseling for trauma survivors and their families.
Covenant House – rescues homeless youth from becoming victims of human trafficking
Journey Out​ - offers comprehensive case management for adult sex trafficking survivors
Saving Innocence – has an emergency shelter and long term care for commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC)
Treasures​  outreach to individuals working in the sex industry and to CSEC youth in juvenile detention centers​
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