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The story of a survivor of Child Trafficking…

 

During this Lenten season, a story of hope this Holy Week as RENATE members from MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector) share with us the story of a survivor of Child Trafficking.

MECPATHS were extremely fortunate in 2018 to meet with a survivor of Child Trafficking. Maya, a young person from The United Kingdom, experienced first-hand what it is to be trafficked for the purpose of exploitation.

Maya’s strength of self and her willingness to educate and keep others safe is remarkable. Her sharing of story and her commitment to developing a world where Child Trafficking is no longer, is inspiring. Please take some time to listen to Maya’s journey here: https://mecpaths.ie/2019/03/22/a-survivor-of-child-trafficking-speaks-out/

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

Meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals- RENATE General Assembly 2021. ‘’Everyone is a development actor.’’

 

UNICEF/UDDIN A Family Left Homeless by Cyclone Aila in Bangladesh

As RENATE prepares for its 3rd Assembly (2021) with the theme ‘’Towards 2030,’’ the following article by the United Nations Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed  is a timely reminder that ‘’the clock is ticking down’’ in the face of climate change, inequalities and other serious challenges.

Already engaged as a collaborative network working to combat human trafficking and exploitation, the RENATE network is ideally positioned to play its part in adopting a fully integrated approach towards the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development that engage all in prevention and development work.

While all of the 17 SDGs and 169 targets directly and indirectly concern Human Rights, Human Trafficking is specifically referred to in three targets under three goals: 5 (Gender Equality); 8 (Decent work and Economic Growth) and 16 (Peace Justice and Strong Institutions).

As we prepare for the RENATE Assembly, it will be useful to keep in mind Deputy Secretary General Mohammed’s call to ‘’reflect honestly about where we are falling short because these shortcomings are also where the opportunities lie to make a difference.’’

Full article at: https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/04/1036531

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

RENATE member Begona Inarra who runs the RENATE France Blog, has written a valuable resumé of the call to respond to the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking.

 

The blog encompassing the following areas, with a brief synopsis relating to each.

  1. Commodification of people.
  2. Necessary changes to society.
  3. Victims of human trafficking as being invisible.
  4. Responsibilities of Catholic to respond to their Baptismal calling.
  5. Limit forced migration.

Access the full Blog at: https://renatefrance.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/la-feuille-de-route-du-saint-siege-contre-la-traite-humaine/

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Useful resource – an Interactive Map for Business Anti- Human Trafficking organisations.

 

This interactive map offers information on initiatives and organisations engaging with the private sector to combat human trafficking, child labour, forced labour and modern slavery.

Sponsored and supported by the ILO, the UN Global Compact, the IOM UN Migration, GBCAT and the Global Initiative against Transnational organised Crime, the app invites the user to choose from a number of relevant categories where one can search for organisations according to the type of institution, their geographical focus, the issue(s) they work on (Child Labour, Forced Labour, Organ Removal etc.) and their industry of focus.

For full access: https://clicktime.symantec.com/344f5LKJWvwMRYoxuHrx4AG7Vc?u=http%3A%2F

 

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

RENATE member Sr. Eugenia Bonetti composes meditation for Pope Francis’ celebration of The Way of the Cross Good Friday 19 April 2019.

 

Pope Francis has asked Bonetti, a long-time activist in the fight against human trafficking, to write the meditations for his celebration of the Good Friday Way of the Cross prayer service at Rome’s Colosseum 19 April, 2019 (Credit: CNS.).

Responding to an invitation from Pope Francis which she could not refuse, RENATE member Sr. Eugenia Bonetti is honoured to reflect upon her lifetime’s work dedicated to rescuing women from human trafficking and sex slavery in order to write the meditations for his celebration of the Good Friday Way of the Cross Prayer Service at Rome’s Colosseum on 19 April 2019.

Sr. Eugenia has said it is an opportunity to give expression to what she has been “doing, listening, and suffering” for more than twenty years in the area of anti-human trafficking work and to raise awareness to the fact that the slave trade needs our urgent attention as it continues to thrive in contemporary times.

Sr. Eugenia will draw parallels between Christ’s suffering along the Way of the Cross and on Calvary and that of trafficked girls, who similarly endure suffering on their own ‘’Way of the Cross.’’

Pope Francis Good Friday Prayer Service will be available at: http://w2.vatican.va/content/vatican/en.html

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

 

Resolution CONF/PLE(2019)RES1 adopted by the Conference of INGOs on Friday 12 April 2019. ‘’The future of the Council of Europe: Civil Society’s commitment.’’

 

RENATE is privileged to have a seat at the Conference of INGOs (Council of Europe) where we are represented by RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, olcgs.

Following many months of consultations and reflections, the Conference of INGOs have arrived at the following seven resolutions, all of which directly and indirectly reflect a commitment to ensuring the safeguarding of democratic institutions in order to protect citizen’s human rights. Inherent in these resolutions will be the opportunity to promote and support the combatting of human trafficking and the protection of the dignity of the human person.

‘’The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe:

  1. Supports the Secretary General´s position that the member States must guarantee an adequate and sustainable financial basis for the Council of Europe to undertake its tasks and live up to its responsibilities;
  2. Recalls that Civil Society already contributes in a very significant way to various monitoring mechanisms, its input should be further explored to guarantee a greater efficiency and effectiveness of these mechanisms;
  3. Stresses that Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are interdependent, and one cannot exist without the other. The Conference of INGOs fears that undermining one of these pillars will have a negative impact on all of them;
  4. Emphasises the continued need to safeguard and achieve genuine democracy and strengthen public trust in democratic institutions. Inclusive societies require well established tools for meaningful participation in the democratic decision-making process, which can empower citizens and NGOs and help young people to be confident in a common European future;
  5. Considers pro-active education for democratic culture and human rights as essential to sustaining adherence to democratic values, principles and practices;
  6. Underlines that reinforced interaction with civil society through a space for substantial, formal, honest and open debates on the strategic orientations of the Organization represents a real opportunity and strength for the Council of Europe;
  7. Commits itself to create an open environment for constructive dialogue within organised civil society as well as between civil society and public authorities to help establishing a new sense of cohesion in democratic society and to bring this Resolution to the attention of its members. 12/04/2019.

For more on the CoE: https://www.coe.int/en/web/ingo/home?desktop=true

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

RENATE member Sonia Krsytoń shares news of upcoming Big Heart Bike cycling events planned for 2020- via their FaceBook page @BigHeartBike

 

Dedicated to raising awareness and fundraising for PoMOC Association, Poland which runs a shelter for women and children (victims of trafficking, exploitation and violence), Sonia and her five fellow-cyclists are currently gearing up for their roadshow, showcasing their bike trip to Iran at various venues in Poland. The roadshow is a novel opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking and the necessity to contribute funding to the support systems run by the Religious in Poland working against Human Trafficking.

More at: https://www.facebook.com/BigHeartBike/about/

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

First Country Group Meeting of RENATE in Albania and RENATE Staff Meeting on April 4th, 2019.

 

Members of the RENATE Network in Albania gathered for the first ever country group meeting for RENATE. Those present represented all the main organisations involved in direct action against Human Trafficking and Exploitation in Albania.

At the annual meeting of the RENATE Working Board last November (2018), board members suggested having greater engagement amongst the members within each country that makes up the RENATE network.

In response, Albanian country representatives met together to reflect on their work and how Albania can influence the field of anti-trafficking. RENATE President, Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, together with RENATE Board members Ana Stakaj and Gazmir Memaj, were present, as well Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person and Claudia Conroy, the new secretary of RENATE.

This was an opportunity to gather and share information about our in the field of anti-trafficking in Albania and collaborate on what the next steps are for developing our work. During this meeting all members compiled a draft action plan and were encouraged to have meetings every two months. We are capable of making greater impact when we work collaboratively and accountably.

An in-person RENATE staff meeting took place for the first time on the 4th and 5th of April in Albania. These two days were full with staff presenting their work, their challenges, followed by discussion for deeper understanding of how we can better help and work with one another.

The RENATE Staff visited the MWL Women Advice Centre in Tirana where they met MWL staff psychologist and social worker, Irena Kraja and Arveda Baholli who work at the centre. This was an opportunity to share with RENATE staff the work of MWL in this advice centre, where they work every day with crisis cases and emergency needs in collaboration with MWL’s partners and Governmental institutions.

Pope Francis on April 11 addressed participants in a Vatican conference that examined the implementation of the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking. This conference was organized by the Section for Migrants and Refugees of the Dicastory for Promoting Integral Human Development.

 

Pope Francis declared that: “Human trafficking a crime of the “commercialization of the other”

RENATE President Imelda Poole (IBVM), Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, (RENATE Member and elected Core group Member), director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher and Caritas Albania, among 200 participants, attended the private audience with Pope Francis.

Pope Francis condemned trafficking in human beings as one of the most dramatic manifestations of the “commercialization of the other”, a crime against humanity that disfigures both the victims as well as those who carry it out.

Please read the full article written by Vatican News:

In English Language https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-04/pope-francis-trafficking-persons-crime-commercialization.html

In Albanian language: https://www.vaticannews.va/sq/papa/news/2019-04/papa-trafiku-eshte-krim-kunder-njerezimit-dhe-e-kthen-njeriun.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ckaj16sf-n3yKISRe2eG3X6oe2TiZaKrKJG6BE8MrUdZYScsFRzQxDzY

Click here to read the Pope’s Address to Participants in International Conference on Human Trafficking.

 

 

Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking: Conference- Releasing Those Unjustly Bound. Sacrofino, Rome, 9 – 11 April 2019.

 

RENATE President Imelda Poole, Sr Maria Luisa Puglisi AASC, director of the Fundación Amaranta, and RENATE Communications Person, Anne Kelleher, were amongst approximately 200 delegates gathered at Fraterna Domus, in Sacrofino, near Rome to look concretely, pastorally and practically at the Church’s implementation of the POHT, favouring a deep appropriation and our working better in concert.   It was a time of open and deep sharing and reflecting on how best to implement the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking document, produced by the Vatican 17 January 2019.

Present were:

  • Representatives of Bishop Conferences 
  • Catholic pastoral agents   
  • Representatives of major organizations expressing the Church’s social commitment 
  • Experts, partners, representatives of foundations and NGOs.

(POHT)  The POHT is the fruit of consultation with international Catholic organizations, religious congregations and Bishops’ Conference from all regions of the world. The document was approved by the Holy Father and has been signed by the two Under-Secretaries of the Migrants & Refugees Section.

The Conference planners and sponsors, chaired by the Migrant and Refugees Section, included Caritas Internationalis, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the International Catholic Migration Commission, Talitha Kum, the Santa Marta Group, and the Apostolate of the Sea. Each of these organisations played significant roles throughout the three days of the conference.

In terms of process, seven thematic sessions corresponding with the major topics treated in the POHT, were considered over the three days. Each of the seven sessions was introduced by two speakers, 15-minuteseach, providing background to the topic and questions for the discussion of 60 minutes. The themes were as follows:

  1. Human Trafficking in the Context of Sexual exploitation.
  2. Human Trafficking in the Context of Slave Labour.
  3. Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling.
  4. Other forms of Human Trafficking.
  5. Identification, Prevention and Prosecution of Human Trafficking.
  6. Protection of Survivors.
  7. Partnership in Responding to Human Trafficking.

Everyone agreed that at the end of the three days, we gained a greater appreciation of the Church’s teaching and ministry in terms of strengths, weaknesses, policy options as well as enhanced coordination worldwide.

We also had a deeper appreciation for our understanding of ‘Church’ not as an institution but more so as a communion of souls together, working together to ensure the dignity of the human person and in honour of the Gospel.

It was a hugely valuable time of reflection and hard work, underpinned by mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s contributions. We had great possibilities to build and forge links and understandings, which will support us in our future work together towards the implementation of the POHT over time.

By 11 April, we had collectively devised 500+ recommendations, which will be further refined and condensed before taking them further in terms of implementation at local parish and community levels.

The highlight of the work was the Papal audience on 11 April, where Pope Francis not only affirmed us in our work but encouraged us to ‘’…persevere in the mission – often risky and anonymous, but precisely because of this , irrefutable proof of your selfless generosity.’’ view more.

Full report and recommendations will be available in the coming weeks.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.