July 30 is the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world’s most shameful crimes, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity.
Traffickers deceive women, men and children from all corners of the world and force them into exploitative situations every day. While the best-known form of human trafficking is for the purpose of sexual exploitation, many victims are trafficked for the purposes of forced labour, domestic servitude, begging or the removal of their organs.
Almighty and eternal God, who through your Son made the world know that every person is free, has an infinite value and is destined for the supreme freedom of your love, and, being the subject and the purpose of your love, is called to have a personal relationship with you, let the Trinity dwell in the soul of all human beings.
Grant that human beings may live and act in the fundamental belief that all people – men, women, boys and girls – are equal and have the same freedom and dignity. Grant that people may be aware that every human relationship that does not respect this belief that men, women, boys and girls, have the same freedom and dignity is a crime against humanity.
In our world where our brothers and sisters are persecuted and oppressed and suffer in mind, spirit and body for their faithfulness to you, grant that through our earnest prayer, our sincere fasting and self-denial, and our true almsgiving, men and women shall be moved to renew the societies in which they live so that freedom of conscience may be respected throughout the world.
May all people of good will feel love for their neighbour. Inspire rulers and governments to work tirelessly for peace, justice and freedom for everyone, and grant institutions and laws that defend the poorest of the poor, the most vulnerable, and all those who suffer injustice.
May war, oppression and all that is contrary to human dignity, especially the evils of modern slavery and human trafficking, be banished from our world forever.
Give us a spirit of responsibility and of service towards those who suffer and who are poor, that we may bring to them that love your Son made manifest by his suffering and death on the Cross.
Grant that everyone sees their neighbour, without exception, as another self, taking into account first of all his life and the means needed to live it with dignity, so as not to imitate the rich man who did nothing for the poor man, Lazarus.
Above all, in our times give us the grace to make ourselves the neighbour of every person, without exception, and to actively help him when he comes across our path, whether he is an old person abandoned by everyone, a foreign labourer unjustly looked down upon, a refugee, a child wrongly suffering in the streets of the world, or a hungry and excluded person who calls on our conscience by recalling the voice of the Lord: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).
By the power of the Holy Spirit grant that we may bring the hope and the joy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone, and come to rejoice with you forever in heaven.