Steps taken to dismantle migrant smuggling and human trafficking criminal networks in North Africa.


Announced in early August when many of us were on Annual Leave, it may be helpful to share the information that the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa are launching a three-year project aimed at supporting Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia in dismantling migrant smuggling and human trafficking criminal networks operating in North Africa, the duo announced in a press statement.

The EU has set a budget of €15m ($16.69m) for the project, which will be implemented by the UNODC Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa under the framework of the North Africa Window of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

According to the UNODC, trafficking in persons is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, intending to exploit them. Smuggling of migrants involves the procurement for financial or other material benefits of illegal entry of a person into a state of which that person is not a national or resident.

The project aims at supporting member states in dismantling organized criminal networks involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

More at:

News from Marie Hélène Halligon, RENATE delegate at the Council of Europe.

Since poverty is a critical push factor in the area of Human Trafficking and Exploitation, it is essential that more work is done to eradicate existing poverty and its prevention.

The commitments taken by member States with respect to the European Social Charter and other Council of Europe conventions must be perceived and implemented with even greater intensity and attention when it comes to tackle poverty and homelessness of children, emphasised Giuseppe Palmisano, President of the European Committee of Social Rights, at the ceremony marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October.

Marie Hélène attended the ceremony which was organised by the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe in the presence of Jean-Baptiste Mattéi, Permanent Representative of France to the Council of Europe and Anna Rurka, President of the Conference of INGOs, as well as members of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe.

In addition, school children from Strasbourg read messages sent by other children living in poverty or in extremely precarious conditions, some of them demanding European countries to take action. Because, as pointed out by Jan Malinowski, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter, poverty and homelessness are not a fatality and have to be addressed.


Each October, Europe takes time to pause, to turn our attention to those who are caught in worlds of Human Trafficking and those whose lives have been challenged, affected and fractured by exploitation for the purpose of generating a profit.

This year, MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking With the Hospitality Sector), were extremely proud to partner with The Department of Justice and Equality to mark EU Anti Trafficking Day, October 18th, to raise awareness, to discuss and to collaborate and to bring the issue of Modern Day Slavery ‘to the courts.’

RENATE members at MECPATHS Ireland send their report on how they marked the occasion of the EU Day Against Human Trafficking, 18 October, 2019, available on the following link:

Photos from the event are available at:

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

Council of Europe mark the 18th October, 2019.


The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, has urged countries across the continent to make sure that victims of human trafficking receive justice, including financial compensation, for the abuses they suffer.

On the eve of European Anti-trafficking Day (18 October), the Secretary General said: “People who trade in human beings subject their victims to the most horrendous forms of exploitation and abuse.

“Traffickers must be rigorously prosecuted and punished, but justice must also be done to the victims of trafficking – by making sure they receive compensation, they are protected from being trafficked again and they are given sufficient help to put their lives back together.”

Launched in 2005, the Council of Europe’s Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings is the first international treaty to require states to make sure that victims are compensated for the damages they have suffered.

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.’


Mindful of the RENATE Policy statement above, the RENATE network has planned a number of events to mark the 9th European Union Day against Human Trafficking. Some examples are as follows:

  1. RENATE members at CARITAS Slovakia share with us their social media campaign below:


“They threatened if I stopped with prostitution my kids and I would end up on the street. They would inform the Social office that my children have bruises from being beaten, that I perform prostitution and would lose my kids in the end. I didn´t even know what day it was. They told me what was going to happen if I decide to escape or tell anyone.

People say time is a great healer but it’s not true. Even now after some time has passed am I able to forget. However, I try to think about the future. I managed to cut loose from the environment that I have very bad memories of and try to live a normal life. I have kids and I take care of them the best I can. My biggest desire is for my children to be healthy and happy. When they are happy, I am too. We are not alone anymore. I met a person that we matter to. He helps me with everything, together we fight… “

Photo by Tony Frič


 “When I look back at my past I feel upset. I wish something like that would never happen to me ever again.

I would like to change my life, start a family. Devote my time to people in need. I started to attend a secondary school as I believe it is important to acquire some kind of a skill..  I have a reason to live – a son who lives in an orphanage. I care a lot about him and visit him regularly. I wish to have my own home and be happy again…”  Photo by Tony Frič

2. RENATE members in Hungary share news of their one-day conference on a Holistic Approach for Victims of Human Trafficking, which will be held at the House of Dialogue.

In collaboration with the SOLWODI Hungary Association (Solidarity for Women in Need), the ORFK and the House of Dialogue, the day is aimed at the Religious in our communities who are actively engaged in ministering to Victims of Human Trafficking and are working to combat Human Trafficking.

The day will involve input from experts familiar with the topic, plus a series of workshops to provide further insight and knowledge which can be used at a practical level, as follows:

  1. Therapeutic methods for helping abused children.
  2. Child abuse and crisis management.
  3. Experiences in serving Hungarian women who have been victims of Human Trafficking in Austria.
  4. Opportunities for Prevention- especially for young people.
  5. Rehabilitation and integration in a sheltered house.

An impressive line-up of speakers will officiate during the day, including Szabolcs Sajgó, SJ, (host); H.E. Michael August Blume, Papal Nuncio & Ambassador of the Holy See in Hungary; a representative from the Ministry of the Interior; Gabriella Legradi, SCSC, President of SOLWODI Hungary Association; Ágnes Németh, Police Colonel ORFK; Drd. Leah Ackermann, SMNDA, Founder SOLWODI Hungary Association; and Déli Biró, clinical psychologist.

Full information at:

3. RENATE members in Ireland send us news of the event organised by both MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality Sector), and the governmental Department of Justice and Equality, held in the Courthouse, Washington Street, Cork city, on 17 October.

The event titled ‘’Frederick Douglass: a Living Legacy,’’ sought to honour the efforts of the American abolitionist Frederick Douglass to counter slavery and examine our responses to Human Trafficking in Ireland today.

President Michael D. Higgins sent a letter of support, which was read at the event and Minister David Stanton, FG, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration spoke to us via satellite feed from overseas.  Inputs from Kevin Hyland, OBE; Senator Gerry Buttimer, FG; Assistant Garda Commissioner John O’ Driscoll; Mary Crilly, Sexual Violence Centre Cork and founding member of Cork Against Human Trafficking; JP O’ Sullivan, MECPATHS Ireland and others, ensured those who attended were not only well informed but motivated to become involved in anti-human trafficking work within their own communities and further afield.

4. Our colleagues at SOLWODI Romania have been busy organising awareness-raising events, giving presentations to youth and children in foster care, boarding schools and high schools, from 16-19 October 2019, on the topic ‘’Human Trafficking and Security considerations when using the Internet.’’

On the eve of the 18th October, they held a  Prayer-service at St. Elizabeth parish, Timisoara, where people gathered to reflect, share, understand and pray together.

5. October is designated a national anti-trafficking month in Albania and RENATE members have been busy organising a variety of events to raise awareness about Human Trafficking and Exploitation, as well as encourage engagement of both Government and Civil Society in collaboration to work to combat Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

This year, the URAT network are hosting the UN GiftBox initiative in Elbasan.

6. RENATE members at Different and Equal in Albania, held information seminars on 16 October, for students at the Alexander Moisiu High School. This was a most successful event, in collaboration with the pedagogical staff and the school psychologist and Different and Equal look forward to building upon such collaborations into the future.

For more, please see: ,  and



More features in the coming weeks from the RENATE network as they marked the 18th October.


Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

18 October is EU Anti-Trafficking Day-


Publication by the International Centre for Migration and Policy Development.

The yearly EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October makes both policymakers and the general public reflect upon the response to trafficking in human beings in Europe.

States still face challenges in properly identifying trafficked persons, providing them with adequate assistance, prosecuting perpetrators and measuring the overall impact of such actions. Observations show that this is particularly difficult in cases of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. In order to contribute to international discussion on ways to tackle this issue, ICMPD implemented a large-scale capacity building action. Training sessions on trafficking for labour exploitation, cross-border judicial cooperation and transnational police investigation were carried out in fifteen countries. The training sessions brought together a wide range of actors including labour inspectors, police officers, specialised investigators, judges, prosecutors and civil society representatives.

The publication, Stepping up the Fight against Trafficking for Labour Exploitation summarises the results from this initiative by reiterating the most important lessons learned. It provides a basis for the potential replication of one or more of the training sessions conducted in its framework. The model for designing multi-disciplinary transnational capacity-building activities, introduced by this publication, can serve as inspiration for cooperation and similar initiatives in other geographic areas.

ICMPD has long-standing experience working together with governments and civil society groups to develop policies and tools for a sustainable anti-trafficking response. Our organisation sees its role in tackling human trafficking as that of strengthening the capacity of national and local stakeholders, establishing new viable partnerships with actors across different sectors (public and private), as well as enhancing cooperation amongst relevant counterparts at a national, regional and European level. With a solid understanding of the principles of migration governance, we combine findings of academic and policy research with a recognition of the operational realities of practitioners.

ICMPD is proud to launch this publication today, as we believe that such initiatives, incrementally implemented across committed countries, can contribute substantially to increasing the number of persons identified in having been exploited and those who benefit from high standards of protection and assistance across borders.

ICMPD’s Competence Centre for Trafficking in Human Beings regularly publishes studies, guidelines, handbooks and training material. Publications are available for download free of charge on the ICMPD website.

Activities of consecrated persons for the victims of human trafficking and exploitation in the Polish Catholic Church coordinated by the Bakhita network.


Activities undertaken by the Bakhita Network in Poland, include several levels at the practical and spiritual level.

In order to go with greater courage to where the Lord sends us, training workshops have been organized by the BAKHITA Network. The most recent of which took place on September 6-9, 2019 in Katowice. The topic was: “Street evangelization – safety rules, dealing with conflict situations”.

“You have to help with your head,” was one of the first sentences from Sr.Anna Bałchan, who conducted the training. The training took the form of a workshop, which is why we had the opportunity to acquire specific tools so that relationships do not provoke the people we meet. At work on the street, to make contact with another person, the comfort of the meeting is very important for both parties. Safety, prudence, mindfulness and cooperation are always important, because we never work alone.

The workshop touched upon both practical experience in street work, but above all the participants had to answer the question: Who am I? What is my mission Only then can I serve others when I have order in myself. When I know my mission, adversity will not crush me. You can then gain distance to your own decisions and the people we meet.

At night from Friday to Saturday at 3.00 we united with the victims of human trafficking, including them in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. On Saturday evening we came to the Lord to hug Him during Adoration. This time in the Community that we created but internally living alone with Jesus, strengthened us on our journey.

We also had the opportunity to see the latest initiative of the PoMOC Association, i.e. the emerging Care and Development Center named after St. Joseph. The main mission of this center is to support the development of young children and to take care of their parents. The center is built thanks to many donors.

Workshops in Katowice gathered sisters of various Congregations and lay people who help the poor on a daily basis. Much wisdom is needed to set clear boundaries for the people we meet in our ministry. Strengthening the heart and developing specific attitudes is what we took away from this year’s training in Katowice.

And below I present a few pearls that gave a lot of light during these workshops:

  • it’s worth asking people what they want? What help do they need? How can they achieve it themselves? How do others do it?
  • To a homeless person, a piece of cardboard spread on the sidewalk is something more than just a used box – don’t go with your shoes.
  • allowing people to experience their suffering. Only suffering discomfort can open a new path.
  • every good meeting can be therapeutic – all you need is one’s wisdom and respect for other people.
  • accompanying others – it is worth being authentic and being able to take care of yourself.
  • most importantly, the personal testimony of meeting the living God is important. This meeting with God, who loves each person and seeks him, inspires us to be good and accompany others



Sr. Gabriela Hasiura.


Trafficking in Human Beings- This concerns ME?


The Religious Sisters of the Good Shepherd Congregation have renewed their commitment to responding to societal issues that impact especially on women and children, worldwide.

Of particular emphasis is their commitment to the urgencies of the poor; to the dignity of the human person; to migrants and refugees; to combatting Human Trafficking; to prevention of violence against women and children; to accompaniment of troubled people such as prisoners and those suffering from issues such as  addiction; loneliness and homelessness.

As part of an information and awareness-raising initiative, RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS,  leads Round-table discussions on Human Trafficking, this coming Saturday, 12 October 2019 at 17:00 in the Salle Notre Dame, at the Maison Mère de la Congrégation Notre Dame de Charité du Bon Pasteur , 18 rue Marie Euphrasie Pelletier, 49100 Angers, France.

All are welcome!


Early years interventions as a means to reduce possibilities of Human Trafficking and Exploitation.



Work to prevent human trafficking and exploitation occurs in many guises. Communities in Lezha, Albania, face many challenges, especially related to child exploitation. With this in mind, RENATE members from Mary Ward Loreto Albania, facilitated an awareness-raising meeting on 10 October 2019 with the aim of supporting parents in their responsibility to provide a better life for children away from exploitation.

Together with partners, parents and local state structures, MWL works to ensure all stakeholders collaborate together in efforts to prevent youths become vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking.

It is hoped that each participant will engage in ongoing collaborative efforts so that they feel mutual support within their family units and the wider community.