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Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking

 

Details of an Early Legal Intervention Project (ELI) informed a Conference entitled “Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking”, held in Dublin, Ireland on the 14th of January last. Numerous European Directives and international human rights instruments have sought to hold member states accountable for the introduction of national legislative and policy frameworks.
The concept of ELI incorporates the provision of confidential legal counsel and advocacy at first encounter between victims and authorities to ensure immediate protection and legal representation with a view to achieving the best outcome for the victims of trafficking.
For more, please see: Report on attendance at ICI Conference_Upholding Rights_14.01.2016
 
Report prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking, Resources for Worship and Action

 

Dear Readers, please find the attached Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking 2016, which has been compiled by the American organisation “The Washington Inter-Religious Staff Community Working Group on Human Trafficking”. Comprising prayers, reflections, personal stories and an index of references to films, short videos and government publications, the Toolkit is intended to be an instrument for communities of all faiths and none, as they inform themselves and others about human trafficking and how to take action. There is a specific emphasis on the impact of human trafficking on children, in recognition of their vulnerability.
In light of the forthcoming International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking on the 8th of February next, we believe you will find this Toolkit as a very valuable resource: Interfaith Toolkit on Human Trafficking 2016 Final
 
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 17th January 2016

 

Pope Francis shared his message to honour the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, on the 12th of September, 2015. His speech was entitled “Migrants and Refugees Challenge Us. The Response of the Gospel of Mercy,” which is especially apt in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Speaking of a time when migration continues unabated as people risk modern slavery and death in order to escape from war-torn countries, Pope Francis reminds us that “Today, more than in the past, the Gospel of mercy troubles our consciences, prevents us from taking the suffering of others for granted and points out ways of responding which, grounded in the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, find practical expression in works of spiritual and corporal mercy.”
Acknowledging the challenges faced by refugees, migrants and host societies, Pope Francis places the importance of hospitality within the biblical context, as we are encouraged to offer welcome and sanctuary to those most in need of our help. In doing so, our encounter with migrants and refugees is truly an encounter with Christ himself.
In imparting his Apostolic blessing, Pope Francis entrust us to the Virgin Mary, Mother of migrants and refugees and to St. Joseph, who experienced the hardships of emigration first-hand in the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt.
Full address is available at: Messages World Day of Migrants and Refugees
 
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Christmas on the Croatian-Slovenian Border, at one of the Camps for Refugees

 

Andrea Bezáková (Bohdana) RENATE member, spent her Christmas volunteering with others at the refugee camp in Dobova, on the Croatian-Slovenian border, approximately 18 km from the town of Zaprešić, Croatia. She sent the following account of her experiences, from the 23rd to the 30th of December, 2015.
“It is very powerful here! Everynight, two thousand refugees arrive by train, mainly children and pregnant women. All are exhausted from travelling. Without access to life’s necessities, it has been a month or more since some of them had a shower. At the camp, everything is well organised, with good use being made of the funding allocated by Germany to assist the refugees in camps.
At night it was freezing. People had to queue for three hours twice; once to register at the police station and twice, to register in the camp. People are disciplined. The majority are coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Many are well educated and include professional doctors, pharmacists, economists, electrical engineers and architects. The younger ones can speak English. Although the camp is just provisional and not the most comfortable, the refugees get what they need.
Many organisations work together here. It is necessary to pray for them. It is a very hard situation, knowing what the refugees had to go through. Some of them need medical help, especially the children.
I am glad to be here at the camp, especially at Christmas time as for me, this is a very authentic witness of Christmas and is an emotionally very strong experience. We are preparing food packets to help build up people’s strength and we distribute blankets, as most are not accustomed to the frost and freezing temperatures.
It has been a blessed Christmas!
Bohdana”
 
Adapted and amended by Anne Kelleher, Communications Person

World Day of Peace, 1st January 2016

 

In his New Year address on the 1st of January, Pope Francis invites us to overcome indifference and make every effort to win peace in 2016. He encourages us to actively engage in the pursuit of justice and peace and to adopt an attitude of mutual responsibility so as to act in solidarity with our brothers and sisters.
While acknowledging that indifference is nothing new, Pope Francis calls each of us in this Year of Mercy, to “…make compassion, love, mercy and solidarity a true way of life, a rule of conduct in our relationships with one another” (5 (21)).
For full text, please see:
Pope Francis chooses 2016 World Peace Day theme
 
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person