23 February, 2018- designated day of prayer, fasting and initiatives for peace- Pope Francis.


Pope Francis has designated Friday, 23 February as a day when people of every Religion worldwide, might pray, fast and dedicate themselves to actionss which will help the marginalised, displaced and exploited in countries experiencing violence, particularly in the Democratic republic of the Congo and in South Sudan.
Speaking at his weekly blessing, Pope Francis’ words speak to those of us working against human trafficking and exploitation: ‘’Everyone in their own consciences, before God, should ask ‘what can I do for peace?…Surely, we can pray but not only: each one of us can say ‘no’ to violence in their own way, because victories obtained through violence are false victories, while working for peace benefits all.’’
For more:
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

STRASBOURG – Religious against Trafficking, gather in prayer on the Day of Consecrated Life.


On 2 February, 2018, all female and male Religious joined in an evening prayer today to celebrate the Day of Consecrated Life in the Chapel of one of the Mother Houses (Sisters of Charity) in Strasbourg.
In number, we were about one hundred young and older sisters and brothers as together we sang Jesus as the Light of the World.
During the prayer of the faithful, I prayed for victims and traffickers and took the opportunity to  remind those present of the forthcoming feast of St. Bakhita on 8 February, the International Day of Prayer against Trafficking, inaugurated by Pope Francis in 2016.
At the end of the celebration, I distributed the leaflet “RENATE House of Prayer” and was happy to hear that many remembered to pray the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) against Trafficking which I had asked them to pray last year!
May our prayers reach God’s Heart and contribute to eradicating Trafficking and Exploitation.
Marie Hélène Halligon, cgs.
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

IOM Regional Director for the European Union, calls for managed migratory routes.


Photo: Courtesy The New European.

In an effort to combat criminal activities such as people smuggling, human trafficking and the prevention of human tragedies at Europe’s external borders, Mr. Eugenio Ambrosi, IOM Regional Director for the European Union, calls for the creation of well-managed legal pathways and routes by which all migrants could safely and legally access Europe.
Full interview available at:
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Slaves on our Streets-A Report on Modern day slavery in the UK- produced by the Independent, UK, (Freedom United) on the extent of human trafficking ‘hidden in plain sight.


Sir. Bernard Hogan-Howe & Cardinal Vincent Nichols at the launch. (Photo: Nigel Howard)

Launched in the Houses of Parliament, London, the report provides insights into the harsh realities of life for the victims of human trafficking and exploitation, based on a three month investigation into the experiences of those working in the personal services sector such as car-washes, nail-bars and massage parlours, in addition to the construction industry sector.  
The investigation was overseen by a round-table of experts representing victim support, law enforcement, philanthropy, legal, financial, political, media and business sectors appointed by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.  The experts included Mr. Kevin Hyland, OBE; Mr. John Studzinski, Vice-Chairman Blackstone investments; chief executive of the Thomson Reuters Foundation Monique Villa, Jean Baderschneider of the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, Yasmin Waljee from law firm Hogan Lovells, Unilever chief executive Paul Polman, former chief constable of Northern Ireland Sir Matt Baggott and newsreader and TV presenter Julie Etchingham.
The report sets out eleven recommendations for governments and businesses to implement in order to combat this modern day crime against humanity. It is tabled for consideration at the forthcoming Santa Marta Conference which will be held at the Vatican, 8-9 February, 2018.
It is planned to distribute the report to political and business leaders across the UK.
For more:

RENATE member Sr. Joanna Lipowska, fmm, sends us news from the Bakhita Network in Poland, in honour of St. Bakhita’s Feast Day, 8th February 2018.



This year, as part of the preparations for the 4th International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking, the St. Bakhita Network in Poland prepared a special Novena to St. Bakhita, which began on 30th January and will last until 7th February.
The Novena to St. Bakhita for the victims of human trafficking and for the cessation of all forms of slavery was addressed, along with an appeal, to a wide audience. Many religious Congregations and communities in Poland join in this prayer. Thanks to the Conference of Major Superiors, the letter written by us – the Bakhita Network – was delivered to all Congregations in Poland.
The novena was also published on many Catholic websites. Some parishes, various community groups, school youth (we informed catechists) and individual people also join in this prayer.
On the 8th February, in the memory of St. Bakhita and to be mindful about Modern Slavery, holy masses and services will be celebrated in many places. In several cities there will be a screening of the film Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, followed by a meeting about counteracting human trafficking. For these occasions, small leaflets with brief information on human trafficking prevention have been printed for distribution.
The members of the Bakhita Network, their collaborators and friends are responsible for organising most of those events.
All materials are available at:  ;
8 Feb 18 Poland Novena Nowenna do św. Bakhity_PDF
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Sr. Estrella Castalone was greatly loved by all of us working against human trafficking.


Today, February 2nd 2018, we received the news of the death of Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA. She died in the Philippines, her homeland. Sr. Estrella was the first coordinator of Talitha Kum. From 2010 to 2014 she worked with great enthusiasm and commitment to develop Talitha Kum. During these years Sr. Estrella promoted and strengthened existing local networks and organized training for the creation of new networks in Central America, Asia and Africa.
The International Union of Superiors General and in particular the members of the Talitha Kum Network express their deepest sympathy to her Congregation, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also known as the Salesian Sisters of St.. John Bosco.  We are deeply grateful for the gift of Sr. Estrella Castalone and for her commitment to combat human trafficking.

Human Trafficking awareness-raising concert  held in Tirana, attended by the President of  Albania and a Parliamentarian.


Different & Equal (D&E) held a wonderful concert on Tuesday night, 30 January 2018,  at the Orthodox Cathedral conference centre, Tirana, Albania. The evening was entirely dedicated to the issue of Human Trafficking, with approximately 400 people present.
Six of the country’s most famous ‘pop’ singers headlined the event.  In between all the songs the singers read stories of trafficked victims. It was very moving.
President Meta attended and spoke at the end, as did a member of Parliament. They both committed themselves to work tirelessly to rid Albania of human trafficking.
RENATE members Mariana Meshi, Director of Different & Equal and Syri Pepa, social worker at D& E, spoke enthusiastically about the success of the event and its capacity to have a wider audience reach to youth, who are especially vulnerable to Human Trafficking and Exploitation. D&E work in partnership with Mary Ward Loreto in Albania on the Albanian network against human trafficking in Albania called URAT and for many grassroots pieces of work concerning the rescue and rehabilitation of the Albanian victims of trafficking.
Prepared by Imelda Poole, President, RENATE.


World Economic Forum, Davos, 2018- Vatican urges those present to safeguard the dignity of the human person.


Vatican representative, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, spoke to the Conference theme Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World and presented an address which highlighted the urgency of seeking ‘’ better foundations for building inclusive, just and supportive societies, capable of restoring dignity to those who live with great uncertainty and who are unable to dream of a better world.’’
Instancing new forms of slavery amongst the recurring new problems and serious challenges that governments must confront, Cardinal Turkson called on those present to ‘’…create the right conditions to allow each person to live in a dignified manner.’’
Full address available at:
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Actors in church against trafficking


On the occasion of the annual Justice and Peace Day for Religious Institutes, Thursday 11 January, 2018, Justice & Peace and the National Service Family and Society of the Conference of Bishops of France, jointly organised a conference around the theme ‘’Actors in Church against Trafficking.’’.
On a day dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking in France, participants shared experiences of working at grassroots level and gathered in round-table discussions and at workshops, in order to learn from each other and build further capacity.
There were screenings of short films such as Invisibles and Becoming, created by the Collective “Together Against Trafficking in Human Beings,” showing different aspects of the trafficking of minors in France. 
More at:
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.