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Celebrating with CARITAS Slovakia as they officially launch their refurbished shelter.

 

On the occasion of the 18 October, 2018, our RENATE colleagues at Caritas Slovakia share the wonderful news they have officially opened their new shelter, named ‘Bakhita House.’

The refurbished house has been transformed into a warm, bright and inviting space where Human Trafficking survivors can access a wide range of supports as they recover and try to regain their independence.

Full report at: https://obchodsludmi.sk/mame-dom-sv-bakhity/

GRETA publishes second report on the Netherlands. Strasbourg, 19/10/2018.

 

The Netherlands has continued to make progress in the area of combating trafficking in human beings, says the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) in a report published today, whilst calling on the Dutch authorities to take further action in several areas.

The positive steps taken by the Netherlands include the setting up of a national network of regional co-ordinators of assistance provided to victims of trafficking and the increased funding for police and prosecution services dealing with trafficking cases, as well as for the labour inspectorate SZW which is competent to detect and investigate cases of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The creation of the Victim Identification Board, an independent multidisciplinary body tasked with the identification of victims of human trafficking, is another welcome development. Further, the report commends the awareness-raising campaigns concerning trafficking for different forms of exploitation and the steps taken to strengthen co-operation in the field of labour migration. Particular attention has been paid in the Netherlands to victim compensation and there have been many decisions by courts ordering perpetrators to pay compensation to victims of trafficking.

However, GRETA notes that some issues continue to give rise to concern. GRETA urges the Dutch authorities to ensure that assistance provided to foreign victims of trafficking is not dependent on investigations or prosecutions carried out, and to make sure that all possible foreign victims are consistently offered a recovery and reflection period during which they are allowed to stay in the country. Moreover, GRETA calls upon the Dutch authorities to adopt a new National Action Plan against trafficking in human beings, following the expiry of the previous one in 2014.

GRETA notes with concern the decreasing number of prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking offences in recent years and asks the Dutch authorities to proactively investigate such offences and ensure that they are prosecuted and result in proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Moreover, GRETA considers that the Dutch authorities should make further efforts to improve the identification of and assistance to child victims of trafficking, in particular by developing a National Referral Mechanism for child victims of trafficking.

https://www.coe.int/en/web/anti-human-trafficking/home?desktop=true

Complete Report: https://rm.coe.int/greta-2018-19-fgr-nld-en/16808e70ca

 

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

 

EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO HOUSING : Leave no one behind!

STRASBOURG 17 OCTOBER 2018

To celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October 2018), the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe held a working session on Article 31 of the European Social Charter which states that everyone has the right to housing. We know that this fundamental right is far from being achieved in many member states of the Council of Europe.

This is therefore why access to housing is of concern not only to us and policy makers, social workers and landlords… but above all, those who have a right to housing, irrespective of age and family status including young people, single mothers and children. The lack of respect for the right to housing has serious impact on the health of those concerned, on their access to the labour market, education, protection, privacy and autonomy. In other words, it impedes them from living a dignified life. Article 31 is therefore a cornerstone, the respect of which guarantees the fundamental rights laid down in the European Social Charter.

The working session is organized by the transversal working group “Poverty”, coordinated by the Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Miguel Cabral de Pinho. We had the opportunity to exchange points of view to build a vision of the constraints and progress made and to propose courses of action to all the actors concerned.

The meeting took place on 17 October 2018, from 9 am to 1 pm in room 3 of the Council of Europe Palais.

It is the goal of our organizations is to give voice to and share the stories of those who have lived or currently live in poor housing; who do not have access to housing or who have precarious housing.

So, we heard ATD4World (Spain), “Médecins du Monde” (France), Caritas Luxemburg, a special witness on collective complaints, as 14 States only approved art 31of the Charter. The work of FEANTSEAT (www.feantsa.org), and two more from Alsace: Caritas ”4walls and a roof” and a female physician in Haguenau, who explained her work with Roma Families Housing.

Others in the group shared on how to be efficient and the last woman to speak was a person living on the margins, telling us how difficult it was to live with so little income.

At the end of the meeting, we stood up and read together the citation (text on the photo), which is on a plaque here in Strasbourg, in front of the Council of Europe Building.

Marie Hélène Halligon.

 

Symposium on Human Trafficking, 6 November, 2018, Vienna.

 

RENATE member, Magdalena Eichinger, SSpS, shares her news about a forthcoming Symposium on the theme ‘’Trafficked Persons; Invisible or entitled to rights?’’ which will be held from 09:00 – 17:00 on 6 November 2018 at the Juridicum Wien, Schottenbastei 10-16, 1010 Vienna.

This is the inaugural Symposium organised by the ‘’Platform against Exploitation and Human Trafficking,’ of which Solwodi and Magdalena’s congregation (Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit) are members. Ms. Myria Vassiliadou, E.U Anti-Trafficking Coordinator will officiate at the Symposium as guest speakers consider themes such as ‘Exploitation and its various guises’; ‘Support to trafficked persons and access to their rights free from prosecution’; ‘European minimum standards re. identification, rights and support to trafficked persons.’

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend, but please register at: www.gegenmenschenhandel.at

Please see Flyer’s attached (English and German) for full Symposium details.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

‘Flash Mob’ helps raise awareness about Human Trafficking to mark the 18 October 2018.

 

In Padua, to mark the 18 October 2018 (European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings) the N.A.Ve Project (Anti-Trafficking Network for Veneto) with whom RENATE member Tina Ventimiglia(Franciscan Association with the Poor) collaborates, organized various initiatives to raise awareness in schools and for citizens.  One such initiative was a highly successful Flash Mob event at Piazza del Commune in Padua.It was a tremendous success, with heightened awareness and increased interest from the public, enquiring about how they can play a role in supporting the work to combat Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

You can view Tina speaking about her work to support survivors of Human Trafficking at: https://www.tgpadova.it/pages/743733/attualita/tratta_padova_record_negativo.html

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

Community House Damaris House

 

Our newest RENATE members from Athens, Greece, send us their latest news about their supports to survivors of human trafficking and exploitation. The most recent event was on 11 October, when a day of fasting and prayer was held.

You can also read about their cooperation with i58, their partner organisation based on the island of Lesvos, where Moria, the largest refugee camp in Greece is located. Although the camp was originally intended to keep refugees safe, many continue to experience traumas as they are vulnerable to familial abuse, forced marriages and more.  You can read about how Damaris House has become a support to one of the refugees, who now shelters in DAMARIS House, in Athens.

Damaris House is a healing community that seeks to provide shelter and Safe-House accommodation to victims of human trafficking. Committed to restoring a quality of life to the girls in a caring and supportive community, Damaris House provides supports such as vocational trainings, therapies and life-skills courses, all within a safe and secure setting. Such supports gradually restore self-esteem and confidence, enabling the girls to participate independently in society once more.

Damaris House also works at trafficking awareness-raising in the community,  thereby offering people the opportunity to play their part in bringing an end to Human Trafficking.

To learn more about their ministry to trafficking and exploitation survivors on Athens, log on to http://damaris.gr/en/

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

 

Our clients newly baptised.

 

 

Our story began on May 31 this year, on the The Feast of Corpus Christi, which was marked by a procession. Our clients -three young men- helped as guards of honor at one of the altars that was set up in front of the premises of Caritas Slovakia.

Caritas is located in a neighborhood close to the largest church in Bratislava – St. Martin´s cathedral and since this feast we´ve been in touch with Fr. Peter, the parish priest.

Shortly after the celebration of the The Feast of Corpus Christi, the boys shared that they were not baptized, and that they were eager to receive the sacrament of Baptism.

Once a week, the boys actively help clean up the cathedral, or they are available to help with other tasks. They regularly take part in the Sunday Mass at 12.00, after which they always want to discuss more about what they have heard. During the weekend, they usually go to the small Chapel, where they pronounce their intentions for which they want to pray the rosary.

One of the boys became interested in the “fifty beads” (rosary) and wanted to know how to pray it. Every evening at the Cathedral, Adoration is observed and the rosary is prayed and he attends regularly with his friends.

Thanks to the approach and accessibility of both Father Peter and Deacon Lukas, our clients began to naturally integrate into the life of the parish, which also included intensive periods of preparation for baptism, tailored to the needs and conditions of this particular group.

The boys took the meetings very responsibly and it was on October 13 that the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and first communion took place. All this was accompanied by beautiful organ music performed by well-known musicians the Gabčíc brothers.

Because of their open and friendly approach, the parishioners of St. Martin´s cathedral supported and enabled the boys, former clients of a children’s home, to experience the community and the welcoming environment that is so rare to them. Together with them the day ended with a gala dinner.

Jana Urbanová.   Caritas Slovakia.

18 October- EU Day against Human Trafficking- events in Malta.

 

 

RENATE member Margaret Gonzi, olcgs, shares with us her news about being interviewed on national radio, Radio Maria. The interview provided an opportunity to raise awareness about Human Trafficking and Exploitation on a global scale and the importance of awareness-raising and understanding the evil effects of trafficking.

Margaret spoke about RENATE and the work of its membership in 30 countries across Europe, to combat human trafficking and .

Margaret also spoke about all the work underway by Margaret and her colleagues at Dar Merhba Bik in Malta, where support and shelter are provided to women who have experienced domestic violence.

More at: https://radjumarija.org/

 

Mary Ward Loreto Albania anti-Human Trafficking activities in Albania, incorporating the 18 October, EU Day against Human Trafficking.

 

To honour the significance of the month of October as an anti-trafficking month in Albania, Mary Ward Loreto Women Project, Mary Ward Loreto Men Project, Mary Ward Loreto Youth Project, United Response Against Trafficking Network (URAT) have a wide variety of activities and events organised in order to raise awareness about human trafficking and how to protect oneself from same.

Ranging from Training sessions,  presentations and talks on the risks to Human Trafficking and its prevention through to open classes with students and teachers on introduction of the referral and protection system against THB plus the UN GiftBox Campaign in Prizren/ Kosove.

The comprehensive schedule of events reflect extensive planning on the part of the team at MWL and involves collaboration with  the Office of the National Coordinator Against Trafficking the Regional Directory for Social Services and Technical Group against Trafficking; World Vision; Ambassadors for Peace; Malteser; Rozalba Community Centre; Albanian State Police; the Municipality of Tropoja Public Health Department; local NGOs; Regional Directory for Social Services in Lezha.

Please see attached Programme of events Keep up to date with all the events at: www.albaniahope.com

URAT network Albania host the UN GiftBox anti-Human Trafficking Campaign, to mark 18 October, EU Day against Human Trafficking.

 

 

The URAT Network in collaboration with Terre des Hommes is running the UN Gift Box campaign  in Prizren, Kosovo on the 19th of October. The deputy ministers of Interiors from both Kosovo and Albania and the Mayor of Prizren are presenting at the opening of the event.

This year’s topic is raising awareness about child-trafficking in street situations for begging and petty crimes. Albanian children, mostly from Roma and Egyptian ethnicity, are vulnerable and exploited in Kosovo, as well as at home in Albania.

The organizations collaborating with URAT for this event are IBVM Loreto, MWL, Different & Equal, VATRA, SHKEJ, NISMA, ARSIS, and Caritas Albania.

Numerous events around the GiftBox campaign are organised, including exhibitions and amateur videos, all with a view to attracting and informing young people who are most vulnerable to Human Trafficking.

For updates on the campaign:  http://www.albaniahope.com/urat-network-the-united-response-against-trafficking/

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.