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A forum to improve legislation and work with institutions dealing with immigration and anti-trafficking work – 26 March, Shkoder, Albania.

 

On the speaker panel was Prof. Roland Dodani, Dean of the Faculty of Law University of Shkodra; Mr. Engjell Gjugja, Coordinator of the Youth Center Atelie; Mr. Dode Mehmetaj, representative of DRFPP Shkoder; Mimoza Kallaqi, Representative of the Shkoder office; Mr. Ndoc Mulaj, Head of the Centre Association Aple; Mr. Denis Mema, Immigration Expert and Sr. Imelda Poole President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation/President of RENATE Europe.

During the meeting, community activists and attendees discussed the work being done to combat illegal and unsafe migration. The dialogue was positive, dynamic, and was an exchange of ideas and reflections related to the consequences in their community.

This forum will serve as a starting point for other local initiatives to improve legislation and work with institutions dealing with immigration and anti-trafficking work.

 

Council of Europe publication- Digital Citizenship Education Handbook.

 

In this digital age, when technology has become an integral part of daily life and is deployed for both positive and negative uses, the Council of Europe has issued a timely publication. It is intended that use of the Digital Citizenship Education Handbook, will empower and protect children and the most vulnerable in society.

Digital citizenship competences define how we act and interact online. They comprise the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge and critical understanding necessary to responsibly navigate the constantly evolving digital world, and to shape technology to meet our own needs rather than to be shaped by it. The Digital citizenship education handbook offers information, tools and good practice to support the development of these competences in keeping with the Council of Europe’s vocation to empower and protect children, enabling them to live together as equals in today’s culturally diverse democratic societies, both on- and offline.

The Digital citizenship education handbook is intended for teachers and parents, education decision makers and platform providers alike. It describes in depth the multiple dimensions that make up each of 10 digital citizenship domains, and includes a fact sheet on each domain providing ideas, good practice and further references to support educators in building the competences that will stand children in good stead when they are confronted with the challenges of tomorrow’s digital world. The Digital citizenship education handbook is consistent with the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture and compatible for use with the Internet literacy handbook.

You can access the handbook here: CoE DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION HANDBOOK.

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Resources for Professionals, working with women and girls in the field of human trafficking and exploitation.

 

RENATE members at APT Ireland (Act to Prevent Trafficking) share a link to a UK organisation called Victim Focus, which produces resources for professionals working in the areas of human trafficking, exploitation, specifically with regard to women and girls.

https://www.victimfocus.org.uk/resources-for-professionals

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

RENATE members in Ireland join the TORL Campaign.

 

RENATE members in Ireland are back on the campaign trail once more, joining the TORL group (Turn Off the Red Light), with a view to ensuring implementation of the legislation which criminalises the purchase of sex.

A police and enforcement strategy aimed at prosecuting pimps, brothel owners and those who buy sex and brothel owners is needed to disrupt the commercial sex industry and reduce pimping, trafficking and sexual exploitation, the Oireachtas has been told.

The Turn off the Red Light (TORL) group told politicians in the Irish Parliament that, more importantly, the strategy would prevent the targeting, grooming and coercion of young girls and children to meet the demands of pimps and buyers.

The campaign group, which successfully advocated for the Sexual Offences Act that criminalised the purchase of sexual acts, says a range of measures are needed to ensure the effective implementation of the law.

“As women and young girls in prostitution and victims of trafficking are integrated into the commercial sex trade and are subjected to pimping, coercion and exploitation, an overall police and enforcement strategy is required, coordinated and aimed at the prosecution of pimps, procurers and brothel owners,” a spokesperson said.

The campaign group has also called for a national public awareness campaign so people are aware of the legislation.

It points out that one in 12 men in Ireland buy sex and the average buyer of sex is male, well-educated, with a middle to high income and in a relationship at the time.

However, surveys of men also highlight that the greatest deterrent to buying sex is a criminal sanction and/or risk of public exposure.

The campaign group points out that the State accepts that prostitution is a form of violence against women so the demand to have any girls or women made available to supply sexual acts for money should not be regarded as legitimate or acceptable in Ireland.

Survivors of prostitution who spoke to members of the Oireachtas said they, like other Irish women, fought very hard and very long for the introduction of the Sexual Offences Act.

“There is nothing about our personal histories that this legislation will change, but it will change the future for other women, and that’s exactly what we fought for,” said Rachel Moran, who has written a book about how she survived seven years of prostitution.

Leading human rights campaigner, Mia De Faoite, who once turned to prostitution to pay for her drug habit, said she will not rest until women are no longer for sale.

“For those who bought me, who ‘didn’t know’ my story, who never asked, who looked past my drug-addicted body, who looked past my lost eyes, who surrendered their ability to think in order to satisfy their own wants, well now you know and if you still don’t get it, there is now a law in place to ensure that you do,” said Ms De Faoite.

Turn off the Red Light says the State needs to fund the collection of data to measure the impact of the legislation.

The Sexual Exploitation Research Project in University College Dublin has started working with relevant state agencies, survivor’s organisations and frontline services to progress research and data collection.

The campaign group also says laws on the purchase of sex must be accompanied by a wide range of measures so there are no negative consequences for prostituted and trafficked women.

The underlying factors that have led to more than 1.8 million migrants coming to Europe since 2014 have not gone away. And while the numbers are sharply down from their 2015-2016 peak because of a 2016 EU deal with Turkey, new border fences in the Balkans and a 2017 bilateral agreement between Italy and Libya, tens of thousands continue to try to reach Europe.

With many migrant women having to resort to prostitution, it is critical that support organisations are able to provide early legal intervention, adequate supports and exit routes.

Text: Evelyn Ring, The Irish Examiner.

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Launch of anti-human trafficking project: ASSIST, Dublin, Ireland, 12 March 2019.

 

Brian Killoran, CEO, Immigrant Council of Ireland & colleagues.

RENATE members who attended the Launch of the new transnational project led by the Immigrant Council of Ireland entitled ASSIST – Gender Specific Legal Assistance and Integration Support for Third Country National Female Victims of Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation, share some information and supporting documentation.

The Immigrant Council formally launched this new innovative anti-trafficking project to assist trafficked migrant women. The project focuses on the integration of trafficked women recovering from sexual exploitation. This initiative takes into account the gender dimension of trafficking in Europe and the gender specific harms and trauma associated with trafficking for sexual exploitation.

The aim of the project is to provide a number of trafficked migrant women with legal advice, information and support in accessing material assistance (social and financial). The importance of gender-specific assistance is recognised in EU law, which Ireland has adopted.

Such assistance is particularly important in cases involving sexual exploitation. It is acknowledged in such cases victims often experience a significant trauma and lack the life skills, training or experience required to quickly integrate into the job market and thus provide for them or any dependents.

The Immigrant Council of Ireland are excited at the prospect of partnering on this exciting new two year project with SOLWODI Germany, JustRight Scotland, BeFree Italy, SURT Spain and  the European Network of Migrant women.

German NGO SOLWODI visited Ireland to help launch the EU joint project to assist the integration of migrant women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

Powerpoints presented by SOLWODI and also by JustRight Scotland at the launch are attached.

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

Collaboration key to successful Human Trafficking Awareness campaign in Košice, eastern Slovakia.

 

RENATE members at CARITAS Slovakia share news with us about the success of the Red Bus Human Trafficking Awareness-Raising Campaign held in Košice, the second largest city in eastern Slovakia. The event was organized by the British Embassy in Slovakia, together with the Ministry of Interior, the National Crime Agency, the GangMasters and Labor Abuse Authority, Caritas Slovakia and the City of Košice.

A typical ‘’London’’ double-decker bus was parked on Košice’s Main Street, where locals and visitors had a chance to see it on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, as part of an awareness-raising campaign on human trafficking.

The UK Embassy in the Slovak Republic supports educational activities in this area, as the UK is a top country of destination for Slovak victims of trafficking.

“We came to the east of Slovakia because the victims often come from this region, especially from Roma communities, who are more vulnerable to this phenomenon. The main goal is to raise awareness so that people do not become victims of human traffickers, ”said Kimberly Gillingham of the British Embassy.

The program consisted of three separate sections for different audiences. It started with a press conference for media representatives, where Kimberly Gillingham (British Embassy), Jozef Halcin (Head of Crime Prevention Department) and Jana Verdura (Caritas Slovakia, STOP Human Trafficking project) responded to journalists.

Right after the press conference, a workshop on human trafficking took place for invited experts from the city police, non-profit organizations and social workers. In addition to representatives from the Crime Prevention Department and the Slovak Catholic Charity, a presentation from the Gangmasters and Labor Abuse Authority was presented. This British agency is investigating modern labour and exploitation in the labour market.

At the same time interactive activities for high school students took place directly on the bus. On the ground floor, short films about this phenomenon were shown to young people, and discussed with colleagues from the Crime Prevention Department of Ministry of Interior and British border police officer. The second half of the students were involved in interactive sessions on the second floor with the workers of Caritas Slovakia. Then the groups exchanged. Brochures and leaflets were available for students and their teachers to remind them of what they need to know before they decide to travel abroad. After the school sessions, the bus was also open to the public.

Photo: Veronika Janušková

It has been a most successful campaign, with opportunities to inform and heighten awareness amongst people of all ages on the day.

Some links with photographs:

https://www.charita.sk/nedajte-sa-lahko-odviest-aj-ked-je-vidina-zarobku-lakava/

https://kosice.korzar.sme.sk/c/22074190/na-obchodovanie-s-ludmi-v-kosiciach-upozornuje-londynsky-autobus.html

https://kosicednes.sk/udalosti/k-obetiam-obchodovania-s-udmi-zo-slovenska-patrili-vlani-aj-deti/

For more information, please contact:

Mgr. Jana Urbanová
STOP obchodovaniu s ľuďmi / STOP Human Trafficking

Koordinátor preventívnych aktivít / Prevention Campaigns Coordinator
_________________________________________
Slovenská katolícka charita  / Caritas Slovakia
Kapitulská 18, 814 15 Bratislava
tel.: +421 2 5443 1506        mob.: +421 910 842 536        www.obchodsludmi.sk
www.charita.sk

An IBVM Congregational member at the UN shares the report below on a side event at CSW63, 13 March 2019, entitled “Access to rights of Women and Girls who are Victims of Human Trafficking:Assistance, Protection, Support.

 

Dr. Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti Human Trafficking Coordinator presents a comprehensive overview of the actions undertaken by European States as required by various legislative instruments set out by the EU and the UN.

The report is particularly interesting in that it includes reference to jurisdictions outside Europe, such as the Phillippines and the collaborative processes with the IOM (International Organisation for Migration).  Please click here to rad the report.

RENATE Member addresses CSW63 at the UN, New York, 12 March 2019 – Social Protection Systems and Access to Public Services in the Fight against Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.

 

Drawing upon more than eight years of experience working as a psychologist with Albania’s most vulnerable communities, Sabjola Bregu ably communicated the necessity for government and society to place health professionals centre-stage in the areas of prevention and support when addressing the harsh realities of Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

Sabjola worked with cases with complex traumas, domestic violence, victims of trafficking, women at risk of being trafficked and exploited, children in street situations and with families from marginalized communities in Albania. She has extensive experience on advocacy and support services at the community centre “Little Angels” SHKEJ, Albania.  All the while, her work is focused on supporting Albanians girls and women whose lives are affected by, or at risk of being affected by prostitution in the UK.

Through a series of PowerPoint slides, Sabjola spoke about the centrality of healthcare professionals to the identification, treatment and rehabilitation of survivors of Human Trafficking and Exploitation. Sabjola made a powerful testimony to the value that social protect affords through a functioning and community-based healthcare system in combatting slavery.

Luke de Pulford, Director of the ARISE Foundation ( www.arise.foundation ) which sponsored Sabjola’s presence at this year’s CSW, stated ‘’ARISE exists to support frontline work and amplify their voices. It was a privilege therefore to be able to bring Sabjola and another colleague, Sr Sherly,  to the U.N. who both spoke with great clarity about the imperative of healthcare and education to prevent exploitation. The U.N. needs to hear from more voices like these – people who have their sleeves rolled up and are providing help where it is most needed. Our huge gratitude goes to Women at the Well (https://wata.org.uk) for releasing Sabjola from her crucial work with Albanian women in the U.K. to attend.”

To view the video clips of the speeches: https://www.arise.foundation/news/arise-brings-frontline-voices-to-the-un

Please find Sabjola’s address and PowerPoint slides.

Sabiola now works in the UK under the umbrella organisations of St Mary’s Twickenham College, Women at the Well and The Medaille Trust.

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

RENATE members honoured in publication ”Women can,” launched in Albania 8 March 2019 International Women’s Day.

 

Congratulations to RENATE members from Albania Mrs. Ana Stakaj and Sr. Elda Nikolli Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne Antida Thouret,  whose working lives in Albania along with that of 50 other Albanian women, with shared values and shared principles, is acknowledged and celebrated in a book published on International Women’s Day, 8 March 2019, in Albania.

Authored by Edlira Gjoni, graduate of the McCain Institute, Washington DC, and Executive Director of the Centre for Public Impact, Albania, the book honours 51 Albanian women who give service which impacts positively on the lives of others in Albania, particularly in the areas of social justice, community and human rights.

Both Ana and Sr. Elda work in the areas of Human Trafficking prevention, advocacy and awareness-raising.  They both are committed to the empowerment of women and girls and work tirelessly at grassroots level to ensure women and girls remain in education, attain life-skills which enable income and reduction of vulnerability to human trafficking and exploitation. They also work in support of women and girls in vulnerable situations, offering healthcare supports.

Ana is particularly involved in initiatives with Mary Ward Loreto in which the 6 transforming advice and service centres work in direct action with abused and trafficked people.

View interview in Albanian, with Ms. Gjoni at: https://youtu.be/edlyMZeXsT0

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

WOMEN CAN – Reflections on launch of publication in Albania, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, by Ana Stakaj, RENATE member.

 

Two RENATE members were presented with certificates of leadership excellence from the Center for Public Impact, powered by the McCain Institute and Arizona University, for their demonstrated Character Driven Leadership.

The certificates were awarded on the International Day of Women, when Ms Edlira Gjoni launched her movement “Women Can-Vajzat për Shqipërinë” and book of the same title, promoting values and character driven leadership of women in Albania.

The author, Edlira Gjoni was a fellow at the McCain Institute on International Leadership from 2017-2018 for the Next Generation Leaders program. Her experience in the USA prompted her to initiate the movement Women Can.“Today in Albania, there is energy for a new shared leadership structure with women emerging in more visible roles and to be proud and empowered female leaders,” Gjoni said.

Gjoni captures interesting aspects of the Albanian women and their roles as character driven leaders. She has selected 51 women and leadership traits to portray 51% of the Albanian population who are female. Her book “Women can” introduces us to the Albanian female leaders who serve as role models and inspire us to continue making a difference.

The women portrayed in the book are not public figures, and in her opening remarks presenting the book, Gjoni explained that this was a purposeful decision “to give space, recognition, and gratitude to all these women who serve and make us proud and often are not recognized for their efforts.”

In the book, which brings a new perspective to portraying women in Albania, Sister Elda Nikolli represents the value of being Pro-Active and Youth-Savvy; Ana Stakaj represents the trait of Leading by Example.