By Dr. Richard Watson

Past President CMA-USA

His Holiness Pope Francis is urging Christians all over the world to join together in prayer, during this month of February in particular, against the evil of human trafficking.

“Listen to the Migrants’ Cries”
We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal trafficking, may be heard and considered.

Catholic physicians and other healthcare professionals are called to take an especially active role.  In addition to our prayers, we need to become alert and involved.

  • Dignity Health System makes available their extensive, experience-based guide for establishing a Medical Safe Haven for Victims of Human Trafficking.  At the Mercy Family Health Center in Sacramento, the Family Medicine residency has been actively involved in establishing this program.

  • Their PEARR Tool provides a helpful guideline for approaching your patient when you have a concern.
  • Provide Privacy
  • Educate
  • Ask
  • Respect and Respond

  • At the Global Strategic Operatives for the Eradication of Human Trafficking, Deb O’Hara Rusckowski, RN, MBA, MTS (who also serves as Delegate for the Order of Malta to the United Nations and as a Board Member of the National Catholic Bioethics Center) is dedicated to training healthcare professionals on how to save lives from modern day slavery.

  • The US Conference of Catholic Bishops maintains a webpage specifically for addressing the problem of Human Trafficking.  Please sign up for their online newsletter.


Saint Josephina Bakhita, patroness of the victims of human trafficking, pray for us