Today, as we commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, it's fitting to pause and reflect on the fact that an estimated 2.5 million people are currently being held in forced labor around our world. This includes well over a million children, being victimized by a crime many of us think ended years ago.

Saint Josephine Bakhita has been proposed as the Patron Saint against Human Trafficking. Born in the Sudan and subjected to years of slavery and abuse, Mother Josephine Bakhita found true freedom in her faith and her vocation to the religious life. Today, as we treasure our liberty and that of our children, let's pause to pray for the many mothers and children around the world who continue to suffer under the scourge of slavery. The USCCB offers suggested ways in which we can help, including supporting Catholic Relief Services and volunteering to give a warm welcome to newly arriving immigrants and refugees.