2022 Assembly


Vatican Handbook on Human Trafficking ‘’Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking’’ (POHT)- published 17 January 2019.


The Migrants and Refugee Section (M & R) at the Vatican invites everyone to engage vigorously in learning, communication and action about preventing and healing Human Trafficking, nourished by reflection, prayer, and the teachings of Pope Francis.

Established by Pope Francis and under his direct guidance, the Migrant and Refugee section began functioning on 1 January 2017.

Tasked with addressing Human Trafficking as well as migrant and refugee matters, its mission is to assist the Bishops of the Catholic Church and all those serving these vulnerable groups.

To address the trafficking and enslavement of human beings, during 2018 M&R held two consultations with Church leaders, scholars and experienced practitioners and partner organizations working in the field. Participants exchanged experiences and viewpoints, addressing relevant aspects of the phenomenon. The Church’s full response was considered, in terms of strengths, weaknesses, pastoral and political opportunities as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.

This six-months process resulted in the present Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking, approved by the Holy Father and meant to orient the work of the M&R Section and its partners. It is the purpose of the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking to provide a reading of Human Trafficking and an understanding that motivate and sustain the much-needed long-term struggle.

The Orientations are for use by Catholic dioceses, parishes and religious congregations, schools and universities, by Catholic and other organizations of civil society and by any groups willing to respond. Besides their implementation in local programs as well as collaboration at a distance, the Orientations also offer key points for homilies, education and media.

The POHT is available in various languages and formats at:

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.