RENATE members at SOLWODI Romania, celebrate the launch of New Beginnings.


RENATE member Adina Balan, cj, shares with us news about the launch of New Beginnings, an initiative with based on integrated services for victims of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.
The launch took place on 18 May 2019, as part of ongoing events to mark the 10th anniversary of SOLWODI Romania.
Their first project was the counselling centre for female victims of human trafficking. The team were so greatly moved by the high level of abuse victims of human trafficking suffered prior to their exploitation that a decision was made to focus interventions in the field of anti-trafficking through addressing domestic violence.
According to Adina, ‘’violence experienced in the family remains one of the vulnerabilities of victims of human trafficking so today after 10 years , we see the same needs and wonder what more could we do to prevent human trafficking from happening, apart from raising awareness and direct intervention for the victims.
In this regard, the NGO runs five projects:
1. The counselling centre
2. The shelter
3. The transitional living program
4. Raising awareness activities
5. Self- confidence groups for women in vulnerable communities.’’

While education and awareness-raising activities are critically important to the work of trafficking prevention, the reality is that the NGO is running at full capacity, providing counselling services, training programmes and community education activities to the victims of human trafficking, domestic violence and exploitation.
Despite the continuing demand for services, Adina is optimistic that there is a growing awareness about the crime of Human Trafficking and this in turn helps create more active engagement and collaboration amongst organisations nationally, to work to combat human trafficking and step up supports to the victims of violence as a result.

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A Sudanese Slave Starts a New Life in an Italian Convent Bakhita: A Novel of the Saint of Sudan By Véronique Olmi. Translated by Adriana Hunter.


Véronique Olmi’s novel retells the story of a strong young woman who was exploited and dehumanized before finding herself in more merciful and hopeful circumstances…’

Véronique Olmi’s novel retells the story of a strong young woman who was exploited and dehumanized before finding herself in more merciful and hopeful circumstances. In “Bakhita,” fraught personal experiences intersect with historical and political events and time-honoured religious practices, all encompassed within the span of the protagonist’s own life — which moves from a village in late-19th-century Sudan to a convent in post-World-War-II Italy, and from slavery to sainthood.

Translated from the French by Adriana Hunter into clear and affecting prose, “Bakhita” unfolds a distinctive array of timely concerns — the subjugation of women of colour, human trafficking, female solidarity, personal and institutional conflicts that knot together issues of race, class, gender and religion — and explores them through the suffering, willpower and undiminished dignity of a small frightened girl turned resolute young woman turned gentle old nun. The novel also joins a much larger tradition of accounts of holy women and men that have been compiled over the centuries, including the “Storia Meravigliosa” (“marvelous or wonderful story”), a 1931 chronicle of Sister Josephine Bakhita’s life that was disseminated by the Italian religious order she had joined.

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Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

RENATE Training on Human Trafficking & the Law, Sweden, 6-10 May 2019.



From 6-10 May 2019, twenty five RENATE members met in Sweden, to reflect upon the Nordic model and learn from the experiences encountered in Sweden. The adoption of the Nordic model by Sweden twenty years ago, lead the way for other countries worldwide to consider how to address helping women in prostitution from a Human Rights approach.

Please click the link below to read the full report:

RENATE Training on Human Trafficking & the Law, Sweden, 6-10 May 2019.

RENATE Policy Statement on Human Trafficking and the Law.
‘RENATE endeavours to abolish all forms of human trafficking and exploitation that violates the human dignity and rights of persons. Throughout its European Network, RENATE adopts a Victim-Centred, Human Rights, Trauma-informed approach in relation to the Law.’ 12 May 2019.


Side event at the Council of Europe, considers the theme of ‘’Duty or offence of solidarity: the action of NGOs in the system of assistance and support to migrants and refugees.’’


Having secure the privilege of representation at the Conference of INGOs at the Council of Europe where Marie Hélène Halligon represents RENATE Europe, Marie Helene sends us news of the discussions on the above topic which took place on 11 April 2019 at the Palais de l’Europe.

Amongst the aspects under discussion were concerns for the detention of migrant children in Europe; concerns for civil society organisations and their members who are threatened or sanctioned for assisting people on the migration route by providing legal, humanitarian or social assistance and concerns for the extent to which governments seem to be more concerned with protecting their country borders and not people.

Full report available at: “The Criminalisation of Humanitarian Acts is a Crime”


Mary Ward Loreto Foundation launched the Research on Migration of Albanians and findings of this study report on Friday, 26 of April 2019.


Mary Ward Loreto Foundation launched the Research on Migration of Albanians and findings of this study report on Friday, 26 of April 2019. More than 100 participants attended the conference at Tirana International Hotel in Tirana, Albania.

The panelists of this conference were: Imelda Poole (IBVM), MWL President; Mr. Alfred Matoshi;  Ms. Sulltana Aliaj; Mr. Denis Mema; Dr. Arlind Qori; Prof. Dr. Zyhdi; and Dr. Ana Majko. Ms. Sulltana Aliaj presented the Literature of the research and Mr. Denis Mema presented the Methodology and findings of the research. Mr. Alfred Matoshi presented the Analyzed findings of the research, Dr. Arlind Qori, spoke about the links between Politics and Migration, Prof. Dr. Zyhdi Dervishi gave a asocial context of  Migration, and Dr. Ana Majko spoke about the current situation of Migration and trafficking in Albania.

This study was led by the Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, under Mr. Alfred Matoshi coordination and co-author with Ms.  Sulltana Aliaj and Mr. Denis Mema.

An irreplaceable contribution to this study was given by academic staff from the Social Sciences Department at the University of Tirana specifically: Prof.Dr. Zyhdi Dervishi, Dr. Arlind Qori and Dr. Livia Nano. A special thanks to Dr. Edita Fiono and Ada Braho PhD Researcher.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers, individuals, and associates who worked with passion and dedication in the collection of data, interviewing, and organizing focus groups across Albania.

Migration is a phenomenon that has affected nearly all Albanians. Statistics show that most Albanians want to leave in order to have a better life outside of Albania. Given this fact, a study has been done to identify the factors that push Albanians to migrate. The study has as a sample 1,105 individuals with an equal gender distribution and a range of ages. The instruments used are the self-appointed questionnaire for migration and the World Health Organization questionnaire based on quality of life, the degree of hope, and life satisfaction. Focus groups and interviews were also used to analyze the phenomenon.

Mr. Denis Mema shared the analyzed findings of the research. The results show a large tendency of Albanians to leave the country as a result of socio-economic factors.

Currently, in Albania, frequency analysis shows that 83.86% of participants asked want to leave their county and 16.14% do not want to leave. Statistical analyses show that both women and men are equal in their desire to leave.

There are many factors that affect the great desire to emigrate. Around 84.9% (N=786) want to leave for social economic reasons, including unemployment, lack of basic services and poor standards of living. It results that 5% (N=47) wanted a higher level of education that is not available in Albania. In additional, 4.8% (N=45) wanted to leave for political reasons and 2.7% (N=25) want more specialized health service. Only 1.9% (n=18) have selected “other” and it results that the most prevalent reason for leaving was lack of security for their life.

Specifically, 78.5% do not feel secure in Albania. Asked about the reason, they reported that this is related to the high number of criminals that are not punished.

 An interviewee in Pogradec said: “I am agitated by the powerlessness to change this situation, it is absurd how some individuals are holding this country hostage”

This study aims to promote the recommendations for creating and modifying policies to prevent illegal migration, and to aid in the reintegration of returning migrants into society.

We would like to thank the President of Mary Ward Loreto Foundation, Sr. Imelda Poole MBE, (IBVM) for her trust, support and encouragement at all stages of this MWL led project.

During her speech at conference she said:

“Speaking about movement and mobility, change will come even in Albania, if we all work together against factors that affect Albanians to emigrate. 

 From my perspective of living in this country for 14 years, I am very conscious of the extreme poverty and the feelings of hopelessness prevalent amongst the people. There seems to be no connection between the need of the people and the services offered by the state.

 I hope that all those who have any power to make change will respond to this revealed truth and listen to the voice of the people who are voting now with their feet and moving away from their homeland. ”

 The conference is followed by national media that have also made chronicles on the study:

Please click here to download the study report Albanians and Migration.

The study report “Albanians and Migration” in Albanian Languag.

The study report “Albanians and Migration” in English Language.