Slavery is a 21st century global reality. This year on 8 February we will mark the first International Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Slavery. The day was chosen because it is the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese slave, who, once she was freed, became a Canossian nun and is the patroness of South Sudan,
Present day slavery refers to women forced into prostitution, the trafficking of children, trafficking of persons for forced labor or begging, and to the trafficking of organs.
21st century slavery is not somewhere else, it is here in Ireland, in the US, in Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad; in all the places where Holy Faith sisters live. There is something for everyone to do to combat present day slavery: pray; become an advocate; support advocacy groups; be watchful for signs that someone you meet may be experiencing a form of slavery.
In Dublin some sisters are involved with a group called Ruhama who help women involved in prostitution and sex trafficking. Ruhama reports: the numbers of very young women involved in outdoor prostitution is increasing rapidly; 99% of all the suspected victims of trafficking assisted by the group were based in off-street prostitution; the majority of women in the Irish sex trade were not born here and many do not to speak English.
Ruhama’s work is vitally important and you can help: see www.ruhama.ie