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First International Prayer Day & Reflection on Human Trafficking

 

Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) – The Pontifical Councils for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the international male and female Unions of Superior Generals (UISG and USG) have convoked an international conference for prayer and reflection on human trafficking, tobe held on 8 February 2015, feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, the Sudanese slave canonised in 2000.
According to a press release, “human trafficking is one of the worst examples of slavery in the XXI Century. This concerns the whole world. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) roughly 21 million people, often very poor and vulnerable, are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation, forced labour and begging, illegal organ removal, domestic servitude and forced marriages, illegal adoption and other forms of exploitation. Each year around 2.5 million people are victims of trafficking and slavery: 60 are women and children. They often suffer abuse and unspeakable violence. On the other hand, for traffickers and pimps, this is one of the most lucrative illegal activities in the world, generating a total of 32 billion dollars a year. It is the third most profitable ‘business’ after drugs and arms trafficking”.
“The primary objective of the International Day is to create greater awareness on this phenomenon and to reflect on the overall situation of violence and injustice that affect so many people, who have no voice, do not count, and are no one: they are simply slaves. Another goal is to attempt to provide solutions to counter this modern form of slavery by taking concrete actions. For this, it is necessary to stress the need to ensure rights, freedom and dignity to all trafficked persons, reduced to slavery. On the other hand, we must denounce both the criminal organisations and those who use and abuse the poverty and vulnerability of victims to transform them into goods for pleasure and gain”.
Source: Vatican Information Service
Press Release 25th November 2014
L’Osservatore Romano 27th November 2014
Other links: in English & in French & in Italian
 

Two Little Girls Campaign to be launched in Slovakia

 

The campaign TWO LITTLE GIRLS is named according to a short animated film that follows stories of two young women, Maria and Jana. They were cruelly deceived by people they trusted and were trafficked against their will into prostitution. The aim of the campaign is to warn young people and specifically young women about the dangers of traveling abroad under false promises of employment.
Two Little Girls will be used as a central point for discussion in workshops with young people in schools and social institutions. For this purpose member of RENATE and workers of Caritas Slovakia Anna Bartošová and Jana Urbanová have developed education TOOLKIT that will be distributed together with the DVD among teachers, Romani mediators, social workers and youth workers. They will be educated in a training on how to use the film and materials in their work. The accompanying materials – booklets, posters and fliers describe what people can do to protect themselves and how they can get help.
A special WEBSITE has been created www.obchodsludmi.sk/dvemaledievcata where the film, toolkit and other promotion materials are available as well as suggestions on how they can be used.
The campaign is going to be launched on 20th of November in the British Embassy in Bratislava. The film will be screened on TVs in buses across Slovakia over one month. Counting with the number of passengers using bus as a most frequent public transport, the estimated number of viewers is 700 000 in the course of 30 days. The film will also be broadcasted in Slovak and Romani languages in national and local TVs.

President of RENATE at the Trust Women Conference in London

 

Trust Women Conference, London, 18th - 19th November 2014
Trust Women Conference, London, 18th – 19th November 2014

Imelda Poole IBVM will be one of the key speakers at the Trust Women Conference in London, 18th-19th November 2014. Trust Women is more than just a conference. It’s a fast-growing movement to put the rule of law behind women’s rights through concrete action.
The annual conference brings together global corporations, lawyers, and pioneers in the field of women’s rights to take action and forge tangible commitments to empower women. Imelda Poole will be speaking simultaneously with three other panels in different venues all on the subject of human trafficking. Her group will be addressing the issue of „Slavery in the Supply Chain”. Each of the speakers is to present a proposed action for the attendees to support over the coming year. Imelda’s action is related to illegal employment agencies who hire people to be trafficked for slave labour around the world.
The other speakers on this panel are: Chris Burkett, Senior Associate, Baker and Makenzie; Tom Golding, VP Product and Proposition, Thomas Rheuter, GRC and Jayshree Satpute, Human Rights Lawyer and Co-founder, Nazdeek (India).
Find out more about the conference: http://www.trustwomenconf.com/
Find out more about the speakers: http://www.trustwomenconf.com/speakers/2014/
Brief Report on TRUST WOMEN Conference

Report from the Fourth EU Civil Society Platform Meeting in Brussels

 

Fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform in Brussels, 21-22 October 2014
Fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform in Brussels, 21-22 Oct. 2014

Fourth meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings 21 and 22 October 2014, Brussels

The fourth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings took place in Brussels on 21-22 October 2014, and gathered representatives from 92 civil society organisations from EU Member States and Albania, Morocco, Turkey and Ukraine, working at the European and International level.

At the beginning NREMs (National Rapporteurs or Equivalent Mechanisms) from five member states: Italy, Bulgaria, France, Ireland and Latvia presented themselves, their work, and the cooperation with and role of civil society organisations in their countries.

 

First day, 21 October 2014

Joint Meeting of the Informal Network of NREMs with the EU Civil Society Platform

After this there was time for networking and bilateral meetings. The NREMs and participants of the Platform discussed issues of joint concern. For the non EU-member states this networking was not possible, because their national coordinators against human trafficking were not invited. The International Federation of the Red Cross was present to share best practices with organisations from third countries.

The last three reports from the EU Commission were made public and mainly the civil society recommendations for the next EU Commission Strategy after 2016 were prepared. These reports can be found here:

  1. The Commission presented the Midterm Report, covering the period June 2012 – 3rd quarter 2014, which refers to various deliverables of the EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings 2012-2016 (the EU Strategy) as well as the policy and legal context in which it is being implemented.

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/trafficking_en_swd_part1_v2.pdf

  1. the Commission presented the Second Eurostat Report on THB, which includes statistical data from all MS, plus ME, NO, RS, CH, and TR. But we have to be aware, that there are indications to believe that the actual number of victims is much higher than the one recorded

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/thb_wp2013-2014_final_161014.pdf

  1. the Commission presented the Report on the application of Directive 2004/81/EC on residence permits to non-EU victims of THB, who cooperate with authorities. This directive could be used more, only half the number of permits given than registered victims.

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/trafficking_en_act_part1_v6.pdf
 

Second day, 22 October 2014

Parallel Workshops

The participants split into three workshops to discuss and draft recommendations.

 

Workshop I

Early identification of victims of THB
The main objective of this workshop was to discuss the full implementation of EU legal and policy framework on the identification of victims.
 
Workshop II
Assistance to and protection of victims of THB
The participants were asked to focus on the full implementation of the EU legal and policy framework in the area of assistance and protection to victims of THB.
 
Workshop III
Ensuring demand reduction
The participants were asked to focus on the full implementation of the EU legal and policy framework in the area of demand reduction.
According to article 18.4 Member States are obliged to consider criminalizing those who knowingly use services of victims of trafficking. Further, article 23 requests that in 2016 the Commission will produce a report assessing the legal measures some Member States have taken to criminalise the use of services of victims of trafficking in human beings and if necessary proposing further action.
The participants were asked to focus their discussions on this issue.
 
Report written by Sr. Mirjam Beike RGS