RENATE Member Blogs




Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE

Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE

On Saturday 9 June 2018,  Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours list 2018, for her achievements and services to end Modern Slavery.

On the announcement of the award, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Ms. Sally Axworthy, said: ‘’I am delighted to learn that Sr. Imelda Poole has been awarded this honour be Her Majesty the Queen. It is well-deserved recognition of Sr. Imelda’s outstanding service in combatting human trafficking and modern slavery, through the European Religious sisters’ anti-trafficking network RENATE which she leads, and through Talith Kum, the Religious sisters’ worldwide anti-trafficking network. Sister Imelda is a key ally in Her Majesty’s government’s campaign to eradicate modern slavery. It is wonderful to see such a distinguished friend of this Embassy honoured in this way.’’

On learning of her award, Sister Imelda said:’’ This is an honour which I accept on behalf of the Female Religious and co-workers who are contributing, through the mission of many international networks such as RENATE, to combating modern day slavery and on behalf of the dedicated staff of Mary Ward Loreto in Albania who are passionate in this same cause. May this award expose even further the terrible crime of human trafficking which, as Pope Francis has declared, is a crime against humanity itself.’’

Read more about SR. Imelda Poole in the case study written by HM Ambassador Sally Axworthy: to mark International Women’s Day 2017.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

The June 2018 issue of Stop Trafficking! (Vol. 16, No. 06) is available at the following link: To access, click on the ‘photo’ of the first page or click the ‘current issue’ link. 

This issue highlights the trauma suffered by victims of sexual exploitation and the issues involved in their treatment and healing.

Congratulations and sincere thanks to Jean Schafer, for doing all the research behind such valuable content.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

The wonderful initiative March of Survivors, was organized by Le Nid Movement, on the occasion of this special commemorative year: slavery has been abolished 170 years ago! It is always an event which stirs ones emotions at the deepest level.

Before this March of Survivors took place, an Exhibition, « L’Envol » (meaning when several birds are taking flight together) was organized in collaboration with « Imagora. » The exhibition lasted several weeks, shown on the walls of the Department Hall in Strasbourg, where we attended the Conference given by Grégoire Théry (CAP International) on Monday, 4 June, to celebrate their fantastic effort.

Our Good Shepherd community was able to support the event at its beginning… and throughout!

On the 25 May, we waited in front of the Bas-Rhin Department Hall for the official start of this march. Friends, walkers and representatives of the authorities were present before the hour to welcome the brave: 10 steps, 300 kilometers to “make visible these invisible women” and raise awareness about every stage of prostitution and human trafficking.

With the help of Facebook, we accompanied them on the journey as you can see on the poster, but we could not feel the fatigue, the solidarity, the good atmosphere, the resources, the search for places to sleep (at hostels, at Sisters’ convents …) the effort to leave together each morning, the walkers or the young people met and sharing. A walk that “healed” one of the survivors from the desert walk she had taken to Libya, without shoes, water or food, in a hostile environment and with sometimes hostile companions …

Grégoire Théry painted the picture of the aberrations of a legislation that fights against the Trafficking in Human Beings, but does not include prostitution, through practical “arrangements” to continue to satisfy the demand for sexual services. Several countries – including France – have abolitionist legislation, but are slow to implement.

Rozen and her friends are considering a European march, and why not name it ‘’World Survivors’’…more to follow!

Please find below the article in French language:

La marche des survivantes – Mouvement du Nid, Strasbourg – Mai/juin 2018

‘How to fight the $187 billion human trafficking industry’. Cardinal Vincent Nichols discusses his work to end human trafficking with America Media President & Editor-in-Chief, Matt Malone sj, on Conversations with America.

Watch it here (07:25).



The participants were welcomed by Ms. Myria Vassiladou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, who introduced the content of the meeting and the guest speakers. The introduction was followed by Ms. Valeria Galanti who gave an update on the legal framework and implementation of EU Policy towards building coordination and coherence with EU Agencies.

Ms. Joëlle Milquet, the Special Adviser to the President of the European Commission for compensation for victims of crime, including victims of trafficking in human beings, lead a session on the topic of compensation: which included access to compensation, cross-border access to compensation and encouraging the use of criminal proceeds to compensate victims of THB access to compensation.

Ms. Mara Marinaki, Principal Adviser on Gender and on the Implementation of UNSCR 1325/WPS, European External Action Services and Fabienne van den Eede, Deputy Head of Unit DG DEVCO, joined the panel as well.

Civil Societies from countries in Europe were brought together and invited to have a voice in relation to this issue at three parallel workshops during the second day. The MWL and RENATE representative attended workshop 3.

Workshop 1, Priority A:  Stepping up the fight against organised criminal networks by whatever means including disrupting the business model and untangling the trafficking chain.

–      Conceptualising the EU-wide awareness-raising campaign on trafficking in human beings, targeting users, consumers, and vulnerable groups and high-risk sectors.

Workshop 2, Priority B:  Provide better access to and realise the rights for victims of trafficking.

–      Focus on access to compensation and referral mechanisms at national and transnational level to realize the rights of victims.

Workshop 3, Priority C:  Intensify a coordinated and consolidated response, both within and outside the EU.

–      Focus on enhanced joint efforts to address the root causes of vulnerabilities and the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative – eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

Around 100 representatives from civil societies from all over Europe attended this event, meantime new members were welcomed this year. An organized dinner took place with the participants, where it was good to socialize and be more familiar with their work and contributions in their own countries. The EU Civil Society Platform against THB also provided a good opportunity for networking as well.

Prepared by: Irena Kraja