Do not tire of seeking ways to transform our societies
and prevent this shameful scourge that is human trafficking.
Pope Francis


At a time marked by grave violations of human dignity, the 10th World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Trafficking in Persons represents a crucial moment to join forces against this grave crime. The Congregation of the Mission, inspired by St. Vincent de Paul’s deep commitment to the most vulnerable, stands out for its active role in this fight for justice and human dignity. The article dives into the heart of this initiative, reflecting on the central theme of 2024, “Journeying in the Dignity: Listening, Dreaming, Acting”, and the vital contribution of Vincentian missionaries in this universal cause.

Listening for Understanding: The Basis for Change

The Day aims to catalyse meaningful change through attentive listening to the stories and experiences of trafficking victims. This transformative listening is the starting point for a deep understanding of the problem, enabling St Vincent de Paul missionaries to respond more effectively and purposefully to the needs of those affected. A crucial aspect of the Mission Congregation’s commitment is education and outreach. Through educational programmes, seminars and online resources, missionaries seek to enlighten minds and consciences by explaining the seriousness of human trafficking and its many forms. Recognising that knowledge is power, they strive to provide communities with the tools they need to identify and report cases of trafficking, thus preventing further abuse and protecting potential victims.

Dreaming of a Future of Hope

The concept of “dreaming” emphasised by the Day goes beyond a simple optimistic outlook. It invites deep reflection and a collective effort to imagine and build a future in which trafficking in persons is only a distant memory. This collective effort of shared vision motivates the Congregation and its collaborators to pursue innovative and sustainable solutions. The fight against trafficking in persons requires interdisciplinary and inter-congregational collaboration. The Mission Congregation actively engages in national and international networks, collaborating with other religious congregations, non-governmental organisations and governmental institutions. This collaboration enables the exchange of information, resources and best practices, maximising the impact of initiatives and strengthening the collective response against this global crime.

Act with Determination

The ‘action’ phase emphasises the need for concrete and coordinated action. The Mission Congregation, following the example of St. Vincent de Paul, engages in targeted actions that address both the causes and effects of trafficking in persons. This includes education, awareness raising, and collaboration with national and international networks for greater impact.

Prayer and Reflection: Heart of the Day

Prayer and reflection form the spiritual core of the Day, inviting the faithful around the world to join together in a moment of solidarity and support for the victims of trafficking. Vincentian missionaries play a crucial role in these celebrations, organising events and initiatives that turn compassion into concrete action.

A Collective Commitment

The World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Trafficking in Persons is a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to act. The Congregation of the Mission, faithful to the charism of St. Vincent de Paul, invites everyone to contribute, in their own sphere, to this cause. Every gesture, large or small, contributes to building a world where the dignity of every person is respected and valued.

By joining forces in faith, prayer and action, we can move closer to the dream of a world free of human trafficking, reflecting the light of hope and freedom on those who have been relegated to obscurity. Following the example of St Vincent de Paul, let us continue to strive with “infinitely inventive love” for a future of justice and compassion.

Download the prayer of Pope Francis

Girolamo Grammatico
Office of Communication