The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has partnered with local law enforcement to raise awareness about the evil of human trafficking and provide practical resources for victim assistance. It is especially important for our immigrant communities to know that local law enforcement provides victim assistance without reporting to immigration authorities. All of our parishes and schools are being asked to join in prayer against human trafficking and to help increase awareness in their communities.
Do you think someone has been trafficked?
Call 1-888-KEY-2-FREE (24 hour hotline)
If you become aware of commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), sex trafficking of an adult, or forced labor, contact the CAST LA hotline for referrals. You can leave a tip on behalf of a victim.
What Is Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. At least 21 million people worldwide are forced to work without pay and unable to walk away. Traffickers prey on the most vulnerable – those looking for opportunity in the US, those without families, and unsuspecting young people online.
The FBI notes that Los Angeles is one of the major hubs for human trafficking in the United States. Most are involved in domestic trafficking. In fact, 75% of trafficking victims in California were American citizens. While trafficking disproportionately affects women and girls, half of adult victims and one third of child victims are male. And while much of what we read focuses on sex trafficking, a majority of victims worldwide suffer from labor trafficking.
In other words, anyone can become a victim of human trafficking. These are our neighbors, in our schools and businesses and churches.
The International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking is February 8th, the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita. Throughout the year, and on this day in particular, parishes are encouraged to engage with the issue of human trafficking.
Promote the Hotline
Put up posters in restrooms at your parish for the CAST hotline or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center. Law enforcement informed us that trafficking victims are often allowed to go to church, and it may be their only opportunity to be away from their trafficker.
- CAST Hotline Flyer
- CAST Know Your Rights Flyer (English)
- CAST Know Your Right Flyer (Spanish)
- CAST Hotline Card (English)
- CAST Hotline Card (Spanish)
- CAST Know Your Rights Card
- Look Beneath The Surface Poster
Pray with the St. Josephine Bakhita Prayer Card
In the 19th century, St. Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan. She was sold several times, laboring as a domestic servant and suffering torture. After Josephine was freed, she joined the Canossian sisters in Italy and devoted herself to sharing her testimony of deliverance from slavery and serving the poor and suffering. She was renowned for her joy, gentleness, and holiness. St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for us!
Educate Your Parish
Help your parish staff, school administration, and parishioners learn to recognize victims of human trafficking. Read more from these flyers from federal agencies:
- 11 Ways Your Parish Can Fight Human Trafficking (English Word Document)
- 11 Ways Your Parish Can Fight Human Trafficking (Spanish Word Document)
- What Is Human Trafficking Poster (English)
- What Is Human Trafficking Poster (Spanish)
- Immigration Relief for Victims of Human Trafficking (English)
- Immigration Relief for Victims of Human Trafficking (Spanish)
- Infographic: The Myths of Human Trafficking
- Infographic: What Is Human Trafficking
- CAST PSA (English Video)
- CAST PSA (Spanish Video)
Host a Speaker
Susan Patterson educates parishes, raising awareness of the problem, offering practical ways parishes can fight human trafficking, and including information on prevention such as fair trade, stopping pornography, assisting foster youth, and training youth and parents on identifying traffickers.
Join the Southern California Faith Coalitions Against Trafficking
Whether your parish is located in the South Bay, Westside, East LA, San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, there are events fighting human trafficking near you. If your parish would like to do more, invite your group to attend a coalition meeting.
Host a Movie Night
The USCCB has their Shepherd Toolkit for parishes with information for awareness and prevention. The toolkit includes a movie guide of films parishes can screen about human trafficking, and a list of signs for spotting trafficking victims.
Other Ways to Get Involved:
Join the Catholic Legislative Network
Sign up for the Catholic Legislative Network’s email alerts so you can raise your voice for victims and survivors of human trafficking in the California legislature.
Support Our OneLife LA Community Partners
A21 – has a youth curriculum that teaches kids how to protect themselves from traffickers
Casa de la Familia – offers culturally sensitive support and counseling for trauma survivors and their families.
Covenant House – rescues homeless youth from becoming victims of human trafficking
Journey Out – offers comprehensive case management for adult sex trafficking survivors
Saving Innocence – has an emergency shelter and long term care for commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC)
Treasures – outreach to individuals working in the sex industry and to CSEC youth in juvenile detention centers
Educate Students with Respect Life Week Curriculum
Our annual Respect Life Week includes information for TK-12 about human trafficking and how to prevent it.
Educate Yourself and Your Parish with Angelus News Articles:
- Pope Francis: To fight human trafficking, listening to survivors is key
- How do we help trafficking victims re-enter society? Vatican conference takes a look
- Former child trafficking victim: Awareness needs to produce action
- Ending human trafficking requires everyone’s efforts, archbishop says
- For global ‘peripheries,’ poverty can lead to online exploitation
- April raises awareness about the tragedy of sexual violence
- Chocolate with the flavor of servitude
- No back to school fun for child laborers
- Enforcement is key in fight against human trafficking, report says
- Sex and labor trade victims speak out during Los Angeles march
- St. Josephine Bakhita, former slave, is patron of human trafficking victims
- Inside the life: A closer look at sex trafficking in Los Angeles
- Task force fights human trafficking in LA County
- The psychological drama of the trafficked person
- Leaving the life
- What you think you know about human trafficking is probably wrong
- Faith groups unite to end human trafficking in Los Angeles
- Slavery in the 21st century
- To fight human trafficking – one of Pope Francis core commitments
- Pornography faulted as a root cause of human trafficking
- Human trafficking in Los Angeles
- To ignore trafficking is to be complicit in the crime, pope says
- Mother tells how daughter became victim of sex trafficking, lost her life
- Vatican urges global collaboration, more prosecutions to fight trafficking
- Pope Francis: Pray with St. Bakhita for the end of human trafficking