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Publication of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

 

Publication of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery
Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021
(published today 18 October 2019).

Dame Sara Thornton was appointed as the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner by the Secretary of State following consultation with the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland. She took up post at the beginning of May 2019 and her appointment is for three years.

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has today published her Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2021. The Strategic Plan has been laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State (Home Secretary) in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act (2015).

The Strategic Plan outlines the objectives and priorities for the period 2019 – 2021 and identifies matters on which the Commissioner proposes to report.

There are four priorities:

  • Improving victim care and support
  • Supporting law enforcement and prosecutions
  • Focusing on prevention
  • Getting value from research and innovation

Read the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

Put an End to Modern Slavery, Reflection from 18th October Campaign in Poland

 

Letter of Support from the First Lady of Poland
Letter of Support from the First Lady of Poland

Sunday 18th October was the day of a Campaign against Human Trafficking*, initiated and organised mainly by the Bakhita Network** in conjunction with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the Alliance of Mercy Community and people from various other communities.
Several weeks before the event, Sr. Joanna Lipowska FMM together with Paulina Spratek and Justyna Chłodny (the Alliance of Mercy Community) decided to put into words what had been stirring in their hearts for so long: a desire to express their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking, too often voiceless and forgotten. Their goal was to make others aware of the problem and encourage people to go out into the streets and become a voice crying out for dignity and respect of those who are enslaved. All those who decided to join in the campaign – individuals as well as communities – in different towns and cities of Poland, received a booklet containing a set of suggestions, ideas, rules and information to give guidance when organising a similar event.
In Warsaw, the FMM sisters found support and great understanding amongst the Alliance of Mercy Community members. The suggestion to join in with the European Day against Human Trafficking was welcomed with enthusiasm and seen as a mission of sharing mercy with the most needy. Some of those who volunteered felt confident to be part of the street mime, others distributed materials and shared information. There were workshops organised to familiarise the volunteers with the problem of human trafficking and to instruct them on offering possible help to the victims. The whole process required a lot of preparation. Often people attended after a tiring day of work or studies: some for rehearsals, others to learn the art of communicating effectively about prevention; how to handle possible reactions to the problem and source information on where to get help for the victims.
Street Pantomime in Warsaw, 18th October 2015
Street Pantomime in Warsaw, 18th October 2015

The long awaited Sunday came eventually. Despite the weather forecast, the day was not bright and sunny. The Old City of Warsaw looked sad and dull as rain drizzled down. Yet nobody seemed discouraged: instead, we saw it as a sign from the Lord – sadness, fear, cold and tears are often the reality of those suffering as contemporary slaves. So even the weather helped us to feel solidarity with the victims, to sense their world through feeling cold and longing for a ray of sunshine.
At 3 p.m., praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we entrusted our campaign to the Merciful God. Strengthened with His power, we took to the streets of Warsaw.
(…)
Read more: Reflection on 18th October 2015 Campaign in Poland

Ending Modern Slavery: Everyone Has a Role and Everyone Can Help Prevention

 

18.10.2015 in AlbaniaOn the European Day Against Human Trafficking, October 18th, activities took place with the MWL Women’s groups, in Tropoja, Hot i Ri, Kallmet, Fier, and Shendelli. Men joined the activities as well, joining in with their role in prevention and combating Modern Day Slavery.
These activities consisted of awareness raising on the phenomena of human trafficking, training on identification of potential victims, how to avoid risk, prayers for the victims and round table discussions. The national helpline number for reporting potential human trafficking cases was distributed to many as part of the campaigns. The 128 participants realised the necessity to learn more about this phenomena which puts the safety of their children at risk.
An emphasis was put on the Modern Day Slavery concept in order to have a better understanding of trafficking in persons. A video of statistics around Europe was shown to give a general idea on the phenomena. Three scenarios/stories of trafficked victims were shared with the students in Kallmet, who were divided into three groups. Various opinions and thoughts were shared by the participants, who were all very active. Through the stories it became clear who are the possible traffickers and who are the possible victims and how to assist the trafficked victims.
Young women in the groups were encouraged to be positive and to express themselves in this social atmosphere. They learned new ways of being successful in their lives which are full of challenges. They engaged themselves in the meetings, shared and exchanged details of school life which could put them at risk.
Round table discussions and powerful stories were shared during the meeting conducted at Mary Ward Loreto Centre in the small village of Shendelli. Through emotional speeches and tears sometimes, they committed themselves to fight Modern Day Slavery, to be saviors and not victims, through raising awareness in their families and community. They shared their challenges and highlighted the power of maternal energy that gives them the strength to protect their families.
In the end of the meeting in Shendelli, everyone felt free to light a candle and make a prayer at the small church of the village, as a symbol of Saving Victims and being a light for their support!
The young women of Tropoja decided to pray and light candles at the Saint Anthony Church in Laç, which is known in Albania as a special place of pilgrimage. All were dressed in white to show their solidarity for the victims of human trafficking.
Women and men in Fier joined in prayers in the church of Fier and lit candles. After the Mass, they came with the need to learn more about Modern Day Slavery, and a meeting took place with the women.
Prepared by the Key Workers of MWL Women
 

Reflection on Events in Croatia Organised on the 18th of October 2015

 

18th October 2015, European Anti-Human Trafficking Day
On the occasion of the European Anti-Human Trafficking Day, our informal Anti-Human Trafficking Network, established during the implementation of the project Raising Awareness of Religious Communities in Croatia of the Issue of Human Trafficking (especially Women)”, participated in a one-day conference in Slovenia. In addition to the one-day Conference, Prayer initiatives and activities were organised in Zagreb.

Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia
Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia

Four women members of the Network participated in the second day of a Conference focused on the issues of modern slavery and  law enforcement, organised by the Medaille Trust, a UK Charity, from the 12th to the 16th of October, 2015.
At the Conference, opportunities to hear about the difficulties faced by institutions and organisations involved in this issue were heard, as well as efforts and successes achieved. Sr. Stanka had the opportunity to speak about the situation in Croatia and to present her Project and Network. She reports “My colleagues and I were surprised and inspired by the positive atmosphere at the Conference, in spite of it being a difficult topic and subject matter.”
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb

“On Saturday 17th October 2015, at the Flower Square in the Centre of Zagreb, Ms. Ana Sekelj and I from the Network, together with representatives from the Office for Human Rights and National Minorities of the Croatian Government, the Ministry of the Interior, a network of non-governmental organizations PETRA, Croatian Red Cross and the City Red Cross Society, presented our work, commitment, initiatives, brochures and symbolic items. Through this joint display, we informed the citizens of Zagreb on the issue of human trafficking. You can see and hear all about it by logging on to the National Croatian Radio and Television.” http://www.hrt.hr/enz/dnevnik/303627/ [34:00 – 36:15]
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb

Sr. Stanka says “On Sunday 18th October 2015, in the convent of my Congregation, the Sisters of Notre Dame, we had a Prayer Service at noon for all the victims of modern slavery.
In the evening, in the Parish of St. Blaise, from 19:30-22:00, together with the pro-life prayer movement “Consolers of Merciful Jesus”, we organized a prayer vigil and adoration for all victims of modern slavery, for the unborn children and for every human life. The text of the prayer vigil will be broadcasted on radio station Radio Maria, at 20:00 on the first Friday in the November (6th November), so believers throughout Croatia can join in this prayer initiative. We believe that prayer-support is the strongest and most powerful mean of combating trafficking in human beings. We also believe that God is the only one who first hears the cry of all the victims and who helps all institutions and individuals who are committed to heal the deepest wounds in humanity.”
Sr. Stanka Oršolić
Article edited by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Let’s Open our Ears to their Cries and Respond, Stop Human Trafficking

 

hands
The Holy Father’s Universal Prayer Intention for October is “that Human Trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated”. With Pope Francis’ intention to guide us, the RENATE campaign of activities and events to mark the 18th of October, is presented in the following overview: 18th October 2015_stories and actions from RENATE Network
You will see from the wide variety of activities throughout the RENATE Network that there are actions to suit every capacity. Join us in our endeavours to stop Human Trafficking.
Each and every effort, will make a big difference to those in need.
 
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Bakhita Network Meeting in Poland

 

Is there slavery today? Yes! The polls say that there may be as many as 27 million contemporary slaves. This issue of slavery affects Poland too, though sometimes overlooked, it is very much present all around us.
 
HOW TO PREVENT IT?
HOW TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
HOW TO PUT END TO INDIFFERENCE? 
These are some of the questions on the agenda of our meeting. 
 
BAKHITA NETWORK MEETING
Bakhita Network Meeting in Cracow, 4-5 September 2015As the Year of Mercy is approaching, Pope Francis encourages us to help suffering humanity with a renewed commitment; to open eyes to the misery of the world and the wounds of our brothers and sisters, deprived of dignity. In response to this plea, the Bakhita Network for the Prevention and Aid for the Victims of Contemporary Slavery at the Council of Major Superiors of the Women Religious, organised a training session for its members. It was held from 4th to 5th September 2015, in the Seminary of the Conventual Franciscan Friars in Cracow. Sr. Joanna Lipowska FMM, the president of the Bakhita section and Sr. Anna Bałchan SMI coordinated the meetings and workshops. Forty nine people from across Poland answered the invitation to gather for this purpose, among them forty two sisters from various religious congregations, one priest and six lay people.
 
The first day of lectures and workshops conducted by Sr. Anna Bałchan focused on human trafficking;  the extent of the problem; methods used by the traffickers and the suffering endured by their victims. The participants listened to some stories of those who were once enslaved.
 
On the second day, the session was preceded by Mass and Morning Prayer, after which the first part addressed the question of different ways to help the victims. The lectures were supported by workshops and small group work. In this way, participants learned through experience about the processes of interpersonal communication, attitudes preventing good communication, factors that help create a bond between helper and person assisted. Trainees were given tools and tips in order that they might learn ways of helping wisely. Sr. Anna shared her personal experience of caring for victims and this was a particularly valuable example.
 
For the second part of the meeting, Sr. Joanna Lipowska, with Mrs. Justyna Chłodny and Paulina Spratek from the Covenant of Mercy Community in Warsaw, presented a suggested campaign for 18th October – European Day against Human Trafficking. The participants had a chance to practice their skills: take on the role of people involved in the campaign, join in a pantomime, be involved while a deeply exciting project was created.
Introduction to Campaign for 18th October 2015
To complete their training, each person received a booklet with specific ‘step by step’ guide. This guide included: undertaking an action plan, instructions for coordinators, detailed description of the social, educational and artistic part of the campaign. The whole proposal contains vital elements of information, artistic expression (a pantomime, and a display) and spiritual involvement (invitation to participate in Adoration or Eucharist). The participants received materials that could be used when preparing such a campaign.
As emphasised by the authors, the base and climax of what they suggest, is a call to entrust both the victims and the perpetrators to the mercy of God: an attitude that turns helplessness into the power of prayer. Thus, the intensive training day culminated in the evening adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
 
A particularly valuable side of the session was the mutual understanding and cooperation of religious sisters and brothers who share the passion for serving Christ in others; the opportunity to exchange their experiences. Relationships established among the participants give hope for further cooperation to fight human trafficking and help victims. The witness of those who help victims inspired and awakened a desire to commit ourselves in the best way possible.
The meeting in Cracow was a very creative time. For that we thank God and we thank the people involved.
May the Lord guide this work and enable us to love and serve those entrusted to the Bakhita Network.
 
If you are interested in the topic and ready to cooperate – please Join the Bakhita Network: bakhitapl@gmail.com
Sr. Joanna Lipowska FMM
 

Unite to Fight Against Modern Day Slavery

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 October 2014 – Heads of three international organizations have issued a call to citizens from all walks of life to join the fight against modern day slavery ahead of tomorrow’s European Anti-Trafficking Day.
“Everyone has a part to play in this struggle, from shoppers in supermarkets who demand more information about the origins of the produce sold, to high-level executives, legislators and judges who can write and enforce laws to eliminate modern-day slavery from corporate supply chains and bring traffickers to justice,” the heads of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.
In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”
Unfortunately, in the decades since this landmark declaration was adopted, new forms of slavery such as human trafficking have emerged and multiplied, leading the ILO to estimate in 2012 that there are 20.9 million people in situations of trafficking and forced labour globally, with around 880,000 in the European Union. These numbers cover a broad range of practices, from those trafficked in the sex trade, forced to hand over their income to their exploiters, to construction workers or agricultural labourers toiling for little or no pay on isolated sites that they cannot leave.
“Forced labour violates the human rights and dignity of millions of women and men, girls and boys. It contributes to the perpetuation of poverty and stands in the way of the achievement of decent work for all. The ILO Protocol to Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour adopted this year reaffirms the obligation to punish perpetrators of forced labour and to end the impunity that is still pervasive in so many countries,” Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General said.
“The responsibility to increase our joint efforts to fight trafficking in persons concerns each one of us, international organizations like IOM, states, private sector companies large and small, civil society, as well as private citizens,” said IOM’s Director-General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing.
The IOM recently launched the Missing Migrants Project, documenting more than 40,000 fatalities among migrants since 2000 (see: http://mmp.iom.int/).
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said, “As we remember all trafficking victims on this day, the OSCE remains firmly committed to continuing to work towards the elimination of this crime in our region and beyond.”
For more information on the International Labour Organization’s work on forced labour: http://www.ilo.org/forcedlabour
International Organization for Migration: http://www.iom.int
OSCE – The Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings: http://www.osce.org/cthb
Source: http://www.osce.org/secretariat/125669

200 Women Walking: Walk for Freedom through The Hague, Netherlands

 

Walk for Freedom 2014, Hague, Netherlands
Walk for Freedom 2014, Hague, Netherlands

A row of 200 women, silently walking, one after the other through The Hague, this is the Walk for Freedom. This Saturday, 18.10.2014, during the European Day against Human Trafficking is thus called attention to the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery.

The women are walking in the same outfit and on high heels on a route through the city. They ask attention for the growing number of victims in the sex industry. The participants take the route in a long line and in silence. In the Netherlands last year alone more than 1,400 potential victims of human trafficking were registered. The majority of victims (88 percent) are women, and the largest group of which is exploited in the sex industry.

The Walk for Freedom will be opened by National Rapporteur on Human Trafficking, Corinne Dettmeijer, and starts at 13:30 pm at the Lange Voorhout.

At the same time worldwide in dozens of other cities similar marches are held.

by Gerard van den IJssel

APT Stand at the National Religious Education Congress in Dublin, Ireland

 

Members of APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking) will hold a stand at the National Religious Education Congress, on 18th October 2014, at the Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin, Ireland.
It is intended that the APT representatives will take the opportunity to meet with as many educators as possible during the day and encourage their active engagement in the work to stop human trafficking. Educators are significant adults in the lives of young, impressionable students and take particular care and pride in ensuring they empower their students with as much knowledge and life-skills as possible in order to play active and meaningful roles in civil society.
The Conference theme is taken from Psalm 96, which calls us to “Sing a new Song”. Working in the area of Human Trafficking, we have a song to sing, as we rejoice in our collective powers to work together to stop trafficking. It is the same song which was sung by our ancestors in faith in the deserts of the east. Together, we can make the difference to the lives of those victimised by trafficking.
Check out www.aptireland.org

APT logo
APT Ireland

„Concurso No A La Trata” in Spain for 18th October 2014

 

The Spanish Conference of Religious have been running a photographic competition, since 25th September and concluding on 15th October, entitled “Say NO to Human Trafficking”. All photos entered will be shown in an exhibition organised by the Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid. Originality, creativity, novelty and beauty are amongst the criteria for winning entries.
Concurso Noalatrata_Espana 2014
Concurso Noalatrata_Spain 2014
Click here to learn about one day event held at the Pontifical University of Comillas in Madrid: Programa_Jornada Contra La Trata