Prayer Focus: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Prayer Focus: World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Throughout the world, human traffickers abuse and exploit the rights of those in greatest need. They prey upon the vulnerable and desperate, infect communities, and harm societies.

The World Day Against Trafficking in Persons is observed annually on 30 July to raise awareness about human trafficking and to promote and protect the rights of trafficking victims.

Poverty increases a child’s vulnerability to violence, exploitation, and abuse. Children living in poverty lack access to fundamental necessities such as clean water and sufficient food; they often lack citizenship documentation, education and safe shelter.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is the illegal transport of human beings whose services — such as manual labour in mines, domestic servitude or commercial sex acts within brothels — are sold for profit. Human trafficking victims engage in these acts because they are forced to do so; they are recruited or sold into involuntary servitude.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, with some forms occurring more in certain countries than others.

What are the different types of human trafficking?

There are several types of human trafficking, but these three are the most common:

  • Sex trafficking
  • Forced labour
  • Debt bondage

Women and girls represent 65 per cent of all trafficking victims globally. More than 90 per cent of detected female victims are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking statistics

Women and girls represent 65 per cent of all trafficking victims globally

  • $150 billion is generated annually by forced labour worldwide.
  • There are 28 million people in situations of forced labour on any given day.
  • There are 22 million trapped in forced marriages.
  • Women and girls make up 11.8 million of the total in forced labour.
  • More than 3.3 million of those in forced labour are children.
  • An estimated 6.3 million people are in situations of forced commercial sexual exploitation at any point in time.
  • Nearly four out of every five people trapped in these situations are girls or women.
Read more about why Compassion has a specific campaign to sponsor a girl.


Prayers to mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Here are three Bible verses and prayers to guide you in asking God to bring comfort, healing and justice for the victims of trafficking and forced labour.

Boy with his hand in front of faceOpen your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8-9

God of Justice, You hate to see oppression and injustice even more than we do. We cry out for the needs of those who are manipulated, tricked, and forced by threats and actual violence into labours they would not choose and which exploit, traumatise and harm them.

Lord Almighty, please help us stand up for the oppressed; to be active in praying, campaigning, and avoiding the use of exploitative industries. We pray that world leaders and those in authority would legislate to protect, and strive to uphold, the rights of all, especially the marginalised and vulnerable.

Please bring an end to modern day slavery. Convict the hearts of those who take advantage of others; may they see the horror of such practices and turn away from evil.


The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound… Isaiah 61:1

Girl at a doorGod of love and comfort, thank you for the gospel of Jesus Christ that shows how restoration, new life and healing can be found in Him. We pray for those who work to rescue and restore trafficked and abused women, children and men. Please give them the courage and determination to persevere in their efforts. Please protect them and help their work to be effective in rescuing those in trouble and bringing about lasting change within societies around the world. Ultimately, we pray that people would come to know the true and eternal freedom that comes from trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord.

We pray for your Spirit to bring comfort, safety and peace to people who have been victims of trafficking. Please give them means of escape and access to safe havens. And we pray for welcome, understanding and comfort back in their communities, when all too often there can be lingering stigma which means victims remain isolated from their loved ones even after they’re freed.

We pray each individual would know how much you love them and would be surrounded by caring people who will help them appreciate their intrinsic worth. By your grace and power, help victims to move on from past experiences of trauma and grief so that they can enjoy lives of wholeness and hope.

We pray for anyone within Compassion’s projects who’s been affected by trafficking or abuse. Help our project workers, counsellors and all those involved in that person’s life be able to show them such love and gentle encouragement that they would be restored in mind, body and spirit by the power of your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Boy standing next to wallLoving Father,

We pray for those still trapped in awful situations, who are in despair. We ask that your Holy Spirit would be with them in miraculous ways; that your light would comfort them in the midst of their darkness. We know that Jesus is able to sympathise with us in every way and understands our suffering. For all those people who feel utterly abandoned and alone, Lord, please reach them with your love and your hope. We pray they would be freed from their oppression.


How does Compassion’swork stop human trafficking?

Girl flying a kiteOur Child Sponsorship Programme helps combat violence against children, sexual exploitation, abuse, neglect and child trafficking by expanding the circle of caring adults actively participating in a child’s life. This fosters an environment where the child is known, loved and protected.

The staff and volunteers at our projects know each and every child they serve. They invest in the child personally and relationally as mentors. Their support and attention mean children are less vulnerable to criminals who are soliciting, recruiting or abducting.

We also help previously exploited children heal and recover. In addition to helping with legal resources, we work to restore a child’s overall well-being—physically, mentally and spiritually—through high-quality medical care, counselling and church-driven activities.

We believe that child protection is central to God’s heart and we consider the love, care, and protection of children our top priorities.

You can prevent child trafficking before it starts by sponsoring a vulnerable child today!

Sponsor a Child Today


Hear from Compassion Graduate, Doreen, who now runs a hostel to help girls escape trafficking and abuse.

Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK


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Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.