World Day Against Human Trafficking

“This World Day against Trafficking - If you see Something, Say something”


Trafficking-in-persons - a form of modern slavery - is a serious crime and a violation of human dignity. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the clasp of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Human trafficking is considered the third most lucrative illegal activity on the planet, after the illegal sale of arms and drugs, and its clandestine nature makes it difficult to quantify with precision.


According to the latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery (2022) from Walk Free, the International Labour Organization and the International Organization for Migration 49.6 million people live in modern slavery and roughly a quarter of all victims of modern slavery are children.


The Catholic Church’s annual observance of the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking was first introduced by Pope Francis in 2015 who designated 8 February as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. On this day, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this global crime against humanity and reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered as well as to comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors. The theme this yearJourneying in Dignity” calls us to journey in dignity against human trafficking by keeping as a horizon the dignity of every person and leaving no one behind.  Pope Francis in his video message in conjunction with the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking 2023 urges all to join the fight against the scourges and violence of trafficking of women and girls effecting humanity and each one of us.    


The United Nations separately marks its own World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which is observed annually on 30 July and calls to raise awareness about human trafficking and to promote and protect the rights of trafficking victims while strongly advocating for governments, law enforcement, public services and civil society to assess and enhance efforts to strengthen prevention, identify and support victims and end increasing indifference.


This year’s World Day Against Trafficking theme – “Reach every Victim of Trafficking, Leave No one Behind” echoes the transformative promise of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)


To respond to the call to raise awareness and conjunction with World Day Against Trafficking this year which will be observed on the 30 July 2023, three survivors share their lived experience as trafficked victims to throw light on the impact of this crime that breaks the dignity of not only the victim but also family and community. Their message to the readers is to consciously become aware of trafficking indicators and report if something doesn’t seem or feel right.


(Names of the survivors have been changed to protect their identity)






Combating this modern-day slavery takes a whole-of-nation approach. Identifying and reporting possible trafficking situation could just save a life. We need to stop the indifference and strengthen resilience by educating ourselves and sensitizing everyone to the topic of human trafficking. Learning the signs of trafficking is the first step toward prevention and combatting this crime.

How to report:

Anti-trafficking hotline: 03 8000 8000
Police: 999



Written by :
Brittocia Franklin
Executive Director
Global Shepherds
for the Catholic Herald