Anti-human Trafficking Campaign: “A luta continua”

Human trafficking is a criminal activity within which victims are recruited, harboured, transported, bought, or kidnapped to serve an exploitative purpose, such as sexual slavery and forced labour. Due to social, economic and political vulnerabilities, men, women and children are trafficked across international borders. Despite legal and immigration measures taken to curb this man-made disaster, the number of victims keeps on increasing. Worldwide, traffickers do not only target their victims for sexual exploitation and forced labour but also for organ harvesting. In West Africa, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), “three out of four victims are children”. The Missionaries of Africa, in their various Provinces, Sections and Sectors, are involved in the campaign against human trafficking. Recently, our confreres working in the Ghana-Nigeria, Central Africa and Eastern Africa Provinces organized anti-human trafficking campaigns to raise awareness, mostly among the young.

To celebrate Bakhita Week, the Missionaries of Africa joined with other religious congregations to animate, inform and educate young people about the tricks and incentives used by traffickers. On 8th February 2024, Obai E. Patrick, (M. Afr.), together with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM), the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa (MSOLA), other religious congregations and teachers, met with children of St. Augustine’s Junior High School, Tamale, Ghana. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kinshasa, Alex Manda (M. Afr.), is working with a team of 3 religious sisters: 2 sisters from the Comboni Missionary Sisters, and another sister from the Sisters of Our Lady of the Garden. To mark St. Josephine Bakhita Day, the team organized for the first time an awareness event in Limete – a suburb of Kinshasa -, and many religious men and women from various congregations attended. In the future, they look forward, together with the Conference of Major Superiors (COSUMA), to a sustainable collaboration with Talitha Kum International, for the animation and formation of religious men and women, and other people of goodwill.

Awareness raising is a process. It is another way of living and carrying out the mission of the Church. Being prophetic missionaries today ought to include the campaign against human trafficking and other forms of human exploitation. The Missionaries of Africa continue to collaborate with like-minded people to inform the public so that it does not fall prey to traffickers. It is worth noting that, on January 30, 2024, Talita Kum International launched the “Walk in Dignity” App. It is an application available on Google Play Store. It is meant to increase awareness and knowledge of the phenomenon of human trafficking.

By: Prosper Harelimana, M.Afr.

Limete, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

During the Eucharistic Celebration

Manda Alex (M. Afr.) with religious men and women after the Eucharistic Celebration

Obai E. Patrick (M. Afr.), with sisters, teachers and children during the Anti-Human Trafficking campaign at St. Augustine’s Junior High School, Tamale, Ghana

The “Walk in Dignity” App

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