“I invite all, citizens and institutions, to join forces to prevent trafficking and guarantee protection and assistance to victims”. Pope Francis made this appeal in the run-up to the World Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, which will be celebrated tomorrow, on the liturgical memorial of Saint Josephine Bakhita, on the theme “Migration without Trafficking. Say Yes to Freedom and No to Slavery”. “Let us pray that the Lord may convert the hearts of traffickers and give hope of liberation to all those who suffer from this shameful scourge”, Pope Francis said before greeting the Italian-speaking faithful as he usually does at the end of his Wednesday audience. “Having few regular channels, many migrants decide to venture into other routes, where all kinds of abuse often await them, including exploitation and enslavement”, the Pope denounced: and “criminal organizations, involved in trafficking in persons, use these migratory routes to hide their victims among migrants and refugees”.