It is not possible to remain unaware and unresponsive to the harsh realities of child trafficking for labour and exploitation purposes in the cobalt mining industry, thanks to Lord Alton’s 11 March 2020 query of senior representatives of the CDC- the UK’s development finance institution- about reports that Auguste Mutombo, the Executive Director of Alternatives Plus, an NGO based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, being forced to flee the country after death threats. (Alternative Plus works to improve conditions in the artisanal mining sector).
Following the injury and deaths of children working in the cobalt mines, Alternatives Plus launched a landmark legal action against Apple, Google, Dell, Microsoft and Tesla.
Lord Alton said there had been reports that 36,000 children are working in the DRC’s cobalt mines- used to power lithium batteries- and said that if UK funds were reaching companies in the supply chain that are in breach of the UK’s laws on modern day slavery and that the CDC should take action against them.
More at: https://davidalton.net/2020/03/12/general-sir-richard-barrons-kcb-cbe-gave-evidence-today-to-the-house-of-lords-international-relations-and-defence-select-committee-inquiry-into-sub-saharan-africa-he-said-that-local-populations-had/
(1). An innovative approach towards Lenten reflection is the Daily Lenten reflection devised by the Claretian congregation which centres on the Sustainable Development goals with a focus on the planet:
Goal 6:- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Goal 12:- Ensure sustainable consumption and production pattens.
Goal 13:- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
Goal 14:- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans , seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Goal 15:- Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
Each of the above Goals is considered under the Claretian founder’s intentions ‘’to know, ‘’ ‘’to love,’’ and ‘’to serve,’’ orienting us to implement the SDGs.
Full resource available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12bFY1L-K0n43Yeo9npNRHgb7VL9Pt8g4/view?usp=drive_web
(2). The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has created an equally helpful resource, entitled ‘’A Journey Towards Ecological Conversion.
The resource is prefaced by a statement from Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ “We come to realize that a healthy relationship with creation is one dimension of overall personal conversion, which entails the recognition of our errors, sins, faults, and failures, and leads to heartfelt repentance and desire to change.”
The Lenten Reflection Guide offers reflections, questions, prayers, and actions based on each week’s scripture readings in light of the theme of ecological conversion and is available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aak3keTZeRXH4mdfqcMR42hOkqibSqMm/view?usp=drive_web
Prayer is an essential part of our daily lives as we work to end Human Trafficking and Exploitation. Developing the RENATE network as a powerhouse of prayer calls upon each of us to contribute and sustain one another. A virtual House of Prayer is one concrete way in which we can all be joined in prayer together.
Work continues apace on updating the House of Prayer section of the RENATE website.
There is a new addition to this section of the site, with the introduction of a Daily Dias, in the form of a virtual Prayer book, where you can ‘turn the pages’ and enjoy a daily Dias.
Simply follow these steps:
log on to www.renate-europe.net
Open the link under ‘House of Prayer.’
Click on the ‘Pray Once a Day’ bar on the right side of the page.
The virtual Prayer Book will then open in the centre of your screen. To enlarge it, just double click on the book to see full size.
We hope you enjoy this new dimension to the website and encourage your engagement and your colleagues also, with the House of Prayer.
Looking for daily Lenten Reflections that draw you in and stay in your heart for the day? Then look no further than the daily Lenten Reflections created by RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS.
Marie Hélène’s daily Lenten Reflections can be accessed on her FaceBook page below:
The Congregation of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd became affiliated with the United Nations as a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) in consultative status with ECOSOC in November 1996.
The purpose of this affiliation is to further our mission of reconciliation, particularly in its orientation toward girls and women. Through this means of collaboration we work to bring about change in whatever conditions condemn others to a marginalized life.
We are also member of the RENATE network and could use this network to deliver a very meaningful oral statement to the report of the Special Rapporteur on child sale and exploitation of children. Within the 43th session of the Human Rights council, it is possible for a limited number of NGOs to answer directly to the report of a Special Rapporteur, and we got this opportunity.
The organization “Right to Childhood”, based in Ruse, Bulgaria, also a member of the RENATE network identified several points, which need to be improved in Bulgaria, to tackle the trafficking of children. Because of the short time, we had to deliver our statement, we addressed the situation, that in Bulgaria the “Juvenile Delinquency Act”, a law from 1958 punishes children for a behavior which adults are not punished for, such as begging or wandering. Children, who were victims of trafficking often show this behavior as a result of their trauma, and are therefore punished for a behavior which should be treated professionally as a result of trauma, but not as criminals. Therefore, the current situation in Bulgaria where social and psychological professions are unregulated, firstly needs regulation and secondly, good training and be in line with international standards.
This problem, what was identified by the organization “Right to Childhood”, was equally mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur on child sale and exploitation of children. So we could affirm this report through the experience of our work in the field in Bulgaria.
I value this as very effective networking, and our members from Bulgaria could already use the statement and the video, which is available on the UN’s Web.TV to start their lobby work with a group of fieldworkers and even politicians. We wish our colleagues in Bulgaria every success and hope, that very soon, children in Bulgaria, who are victims of trafficking will not be punished for acting out their trauma but instead, will be helped by highly educated professionals.
Link to the short video
Link to the full report video
Link to the second part of the session, with the last memberstates speaking and all NGO interventions