Human Trafficking

8th February Feast Day of St Josephine Bakhita – Day of Prayer for Victims of Trafficking and those who work to combat it.

Saint Josephine Bakhita,  1869-1947, was a Sudanese-Italian Canossian religious sister who lived in Italy for 45 years, after having been a slave in Sudan. In 2000 she was declared a saint by the Catholic Church. See Saint Josephine Bakhita


Caritas Westminster Bakhita House provides women escaping human trafficking with the safety and support to allow them to begin the recovery process.

Combatting Modern Day Slavery in Ware

The parish of Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Joseph has long been involved in raising awareness of the horrors of modern-day human trafficking.  Listen to how a meeting in the parish hall in 2010 led to the setting up an international conference with Pope Francis, the UK Government and Police Forces from across the world, and the setting up of the Santa Marta Group which brings together the Catholic Church and Law Enforcement to combat modern-day slavery: 

The video is of the 2014 conference (you may like to start listening from about one hour into the Conference when you will hear from Kevin Hyland, former head of the Human Trafficking Unit in Metropolitan Police, the First Commissioner for Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery, and a parishioner of Sacred Heart & St Joseph Church, Ware).

The Story of Thomas Clarkson

“Coming in sight of Wades Mill in Hertfordshire, I sat down disconsolate on the turf by the roadside and held my horse. Here a thought came into my mind, that if the contents of the Essay were true, it was time some person should see these calamities to their end.” – Thomas Clarkson 1785

Abolition Project – Thomas Clarkson



We pray for the victims of human trafficking that
they may be helped to rebuild their lives after the
traumatic experiences they have gone through.
We pray that we, as the Church, will continue to
defend victims of human trafficking.
We pray for our governments that they may make
and implement laws that will protect victims of
modern day slavery.
We pray for those organisations dedicated to
eradicating modern day slavery that they will be
courageous in the face of challenges.
We pray for those caring for the victims of human
trafficking, that their efforts to help the vulnerable
and traumatised may not go unrewarded.

St Josephine Bakhita, Pray For Us



  • Fearful of police/authorities
  • Fearful of the trafficker, believing their life or the lives of family members are at risk if they escape
    • Show signs of physical and psychological trauma e.g. anxiety, lack of memory of recent events, bruising, untreated conditions
    • Anxious about telling others of their situation
    • Be unaware they have been trafficked and believe they are simply in a bad job
    • Have limited freedom of movement
    • Look malnourished or unkempt
    • Be unpaid or paid very little
    • Have limited access to medical care
    • Seem to be in debt to someone
    • Have no passport or mention that someone else is holding their passport
    If you see anything that looks suspicious call 08000 121 700