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.


Intro to Talitha Kum Assembly 2019


10 RENATE members were amongst the 86 delegates from 48 countries, representatives of 52 Talitha Kum networks committed to work to end trafficking in persons on all continents, gathered in Rome at the International Union of Superiors General in thanksgiving and prayerful discernment from September 21 – 27, 2019.  

Amongst the objectives of the Assembly, were the following:

  • to celebrate the 10​th​ anniversary of Talitha Kum; 
  • evaluate the work done together according to the priorities set in 2016; 
  • define the priorities for Talitha Kum International to support anti-trafficking efforts for the period of 2020-2025. 

Human trafficking throughout the world takes many forms. As members of an international network and followers of Jesus Christ, we hear the call to respond to the root causes of human trafficking which transcend national borders.  

In order to live our mission and vision to combat human trafficking, the following three priority areas of structural injustice were identified and agreed at the Assembly;

  1. The power differential between men and women in all sectors: economic, social, familial, political, cultural and religious.
  2. The dominant model of neo-liberal development and unfettered capitalism creates situations of vulnerability that are exploited by recruiters, traffickers, employers and buyers.   
  3. Unjust and inadequate immigration law and policy coupled with forced migration and displacement puts people at greater risk of being trafficked.

Full declaration available below.




We, 86 delegates from 48 countries, representatives of 52 Talitha Kum networks committed to work to end trafficking in persons on all continents, gathered in Rome at the International Union of Superiors General in thanksgiving and prayerful discernment from September 21 – 27, 2019 to 

  • celebrate the 10th anniversary of Talitha Kum; 
  • evaluate the work done together according to the priorities set in 2016; and 
  • define the priorities for Talitha Kum International to support anti-trafficking efforts for the period of 2020-2025. 

Human trafficking throughout the world takes many forms. As members of an international network and followers of Jesus Christ, we hear the call to respond to the root causes of human trafficking which transcend national borders. In order to live our mission and vision, we have identified three priority areas of structural injustice to address in the fight to end human trafficking. 

First priority: The power differential between men and women in all sectors: economic, social, familial, political, cultural and religious. 

We denounce the objectification and denigration of women that contributes to a global culture of exploitation and violence against women, reflected in human trafficking. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 72% of people exploited through human trafficking are women and girls. There are many forms of human trafficking including sexual exploitation,, labor exploitation, and illegal organ removal. When it comes to sex trafficking, females make up an even higher percentage of victims. 

We call on the Church, as the Body of Christ and an example to society, to witness to the value and dignity of women and girls by promoting their proper role in all sectors. May this commitment be reflected within the Church by involving women in decision-making processes, especially on topics that impact them. We call on Episcopal Conferences, Religious Brothers and Sisters, and Diocesan Clergy and laity to collaborate with women as equals in order to transform the culture of domination and to support the networks of Talitha Kum in their diocese and local communities. We call on governments around the world to ensure that law and policy promotes and protects the dignity and rights of women and girls. 

We commit ourselves to empower one another as leaders in the fight to end human trafficking; to strengthen our networks’ inclusive model of working together; to stand in solidarity with all who are oppressed, especially women and girls; and to promote the dignity and equality of all people. 

Second priority: The dominant model of neo-liberal development and unfettered capitalism creates situations of vulnerability that are exploited by recruiters, traffickers, employers and buyers. 

We denounce this unjust economic model that prioritizes profit over human rights, creates a culture of violence and commodification, and decreases funding for necessary social services, putting people at greater risk of being trafficked. This also affects programs of prevention, protection, support, integration and reintegration of trafficked people. We denounce the widespread corruption that allows this evil to continue. 

We call on the Church to continue to use Catholic Social Teaching to critique social structures and promote economic and social justice. We call on governments to adopt just alternatives to the neo-liberal model of development; to implement anti-trafficking laws; and allocate more funding for the support of long-term programs to prevent human trafficking and assist survivors in their process of healing to re/integrate into society. These programs should be created with input directly from survivors and those who work with survivors such as Talitha Kum networks. 

We commit ourselves to just and sustainable economic practices within our networks. We also commit ourselves to create spaces of interdisciplinary reflection, collaboration, and advocacy within the various ecclesial, interfaith, government, and international organizations according to Gospel values and Catholic Social Teaching. 

Third Priority: Unjust and inadequate immigration law and policy coupled with forced migration and displacement puts people at greater risk of being trafficked. 

We denounce the unjust immigration laws and policies rooted in a culture of racism and xenophobia which deny the basic human rights of people on the move. We denounce the dehumanizing political rhetoric which feeds hate, division, and violence. We denounce the harsh immigration policy that drives victims of human trafficking into the shadows, making the work of identification of victims and prosecution of perpetrators more difficult. 

We call on all Catholics and people of good will to take prophetic action consistent with Pope Francis’ call to pray for, welcome, protect, promote, and integrate migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of traffickers. We call on governments to implement migration policy and border controls that prevent human trafficking and protect the safety, dignity, human rights, and fundamental freedoms of all migrants regardless of their migratory status. 

We commit ourselves to work across borders and boundaries through our networks in order to ensure safe migration and prevent recruitment of migrants by traffickers during their journey and accompany them on their return. We commit ourselves to use our collective 

voice and engage government officials to promote and enforce just immigration laws and policies. 

We know that only by working in collaboration and solidarity, weaving a web in love, will we be able to confront the structural issues that cause and perpetuate human trafficking. As members of the global Catholic Church, we affirm the Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking and will incorporate its directions into our work. We invite everyone to join us in prayer for successful implementation of this important work to end human trafficking. Together, we will create a future filled with prophetic hope by working together, forming a network of compassion and grace! 

Talitha Kum Internal Priorities for 2020-2025 The Assembly also set internal priorities to grow and strengthen our Network and deepen our impact in ending human trafficking. Talitha Kum in 2020-2025 will focus on improving our networking, communication, and formation resources and opportunities. We will prioritize work in education and prevention, survivor services, advocacy, and growing the network with priority in Africa and Asia. 

Stop Trafficking. 


The September 2019 issue is available at the following link: To access and download, click on the ‘photo’ of the first page or click the ‘current issue’ link.

Brace yourself for this month’s issue as it comprehensively reviews the extent of Child Trafficking globally.

The backdrop to the exploitation of Filipino children sets the tone and is followed by features on  Child Sex Tourism; the concept of ‘’Predators;’’ How Children bond with their traffickers; the potential dangers to children of hanging out online and more.

There is a particularly informative section on Safeguarding Children and the use of online apps. and alerts regarding same.

Congratulations once again to Jean Schafer, SDS, for her stellar work!

Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.