This year, the Day for Life has been assisted by the work of the Santa Marta Group. As an initiative of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Santa Marta Group was set up in 2014 and brings the church, the police and local community together to combat human trafficking globally.
Through a series of conferences, the Santa Marta Group has become an international alliance of leaders in Law Enforcement and the Church from around the world. The work of these 30 members has been endorsed by Pope Francis, who speaks of human trafficking as “an open wound on the body of contemporary society”.
“Organized crime and the illegal trafficking of human beings choose their victims among people who today have little means of subsistence and even less hope for the future… The basic response lies in creating opportunities for integral human development”
The Santa Marta Group engage with local groups, the Caritas network, and other charities. You can find more about their interactions through their twitter feed at @santamartagroup. One particular partnership is with the Diocese of Westminster who run a safe house for women survivors of human trafficking.
Their website hosts a range of useful resources to download. Here you can download a poster, prayer card and some simple resources for parishes. Your involvement does not have to end with the Day for Life; you can access the Bakhita Day Resources, which include information on human trafficking, suggested social media posts, bidding prayers and other key factors to help you engage with awareness building. Find this and more at http://santamartagroup.com/.
The proceeds of the Day for Life collection to be held in parishes in England and Wales will assist projects working to fight human trafficking, as well as other life-related activities supported by the Church. Guidelines for applications can be found on the About page of our website.