NUNS & SEXUAL TRAFFICKING. Following an interview earlier in November 2018 with Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, President of RENATE, Ian Linden.


Following an interview earlier in November 2018 with Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM, MBE, President of RENATE, Ian Linden. (Visiting Professor St. Mary’s University, Strawberry Hill, London) has produced video footage of the interview which is available at

The Oxford based Las Casas Institute are producing shortly another version using different clips on their website: this is the personal website of Professor Ian Linden. Here you can find his books, blogs and publications, as well as serving as a means of contact.


Congratulations to Sr. Imelda Poole, IBVM,  who received her MBE at Buckingham Palace this  Wednesday, November 21st, 2018.


Sr. Imelda Poole, said:
“Today is the day and probably for the first time the nerves are beginning to set in. It is Wednesday, November 21st. Sr Adina Balan CJ from Romania and I are staying in a small hotel just down the road from the Acton community house. By 08. 30am,  courtesy of the IBVM Acton community, who have looked after us so well, Bernie, Jacinta, Adina and myself were heading for Buckingham Palace. It was all still a little surreal but becoming a reality by the moment. Jen and Ana Stakaj, who is  over from Albania for a training programme on behalf of RENATE, were there to greet us when we came out of the palace. They were filming the great day and cheering us on. What happened in between was truly amazing.

Left to right. Salky Axworthy, British Ambassador at the Vatican, Sr Bernie Boland IBVM, Sr Imelda Poole IBVM, Sr Jacinta Davenport IBVM and Sr Adina Balan CJ, the latter four all Mary Ward Sisters from the two branches.

The pictures express a little of the occasion which was a wonderful affair for all of us. The palace is beautiful with wonderful pictures around the walls. We were practised before hand by one of the chancellors, whilst the guests waited to a background of lovely music which continued to serenade them throughout the morning. Sr Bernie, Sr Jacinta and Sr Adina,  all Mary Ward Sisters and my guests, had great seats raised on a platform at the side of the great hall. Prince Charles, backed by his chancellor’s and four men held the eyes of all as he destributed the medals to each of those to be awarded. He was very prepared and gave a significant time to each one. It was a tingle factor time as you awaited your turn. Then the moment came and with others we wended our way through the corridors of Buckingham Palace  and then to the great hall to be greeted by Prince Charles. This was when your name and reason for the award was announced loudly. Thankfully I did not fall as I made my courtesy  to the Prince and then took the three steps towards him to be awarded the medal, which he slipped into a medal holder, already attached to my jacket. Prince Charles was lovely and opened up a moving conversation on the phenomena of Human Trafficking. With the medal in place and after this significant chat, it was time to take three steps back, make another courtesy and then move on and out into the corridors of Buckingham palace, where we wended our way back into the rear of the main hall. What an experience. It all ended with the national anthem, and the platform party, including the Prince making their way out of the hall, the last ones to leave being the footmen who banged a loud stick on the floor to the time of the music and their marching. What fun!! It was great to link up with each other after this, and share the experience whilst waiting for the photographs to be taken. After this, courtesy of Sr Bernie and the Province, we made our way to Cotes where we had a delicious meal and lots of fun. Sally Axworthy, the British Ambassador at The Vatican, was there at the gate of Buckingham Palace for greetings and photographs. All very lovely.

The day ended perfectly with a great party organised by the Acton community. Our CJ friends were there from the London house plus other friends, Philip my nephew and Christine Green and Ceri, Philippa’s niece and husband. This ended a more than perfect day. Thanks to everyone who shared this special time.” 

ARISE Foundation launch report on The Anti-Slavery Commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales – 12 November, 2018.


The anti-slavery commitment of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales has been recorded in the Threads of Solidarity project, conducted by the ARISE Foundation and launched in Westminster, London on Monday, 12 November 2018.

RENATE members Mrs. Ana Stakaj, Patricia Mulhall, csb, Anne McNamara , pbvm, Marie Power, Ancy Mathews and Eileen Glancy were amongst invited guests at the launch of a report on the project.

Sr. Arpan Carvalho, bs, Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, op and Sr. Lynda Dearlove, rsm,  each spoke about their respective ministries and the harsh realities of life which render people vulnerable to traffickers.

The report is available at: ARISE Foundation Launch for Conference of Religious of England and Wales

RENATE Annual Working Board Meeting – Lviv, UKRAINE, 4-9 November, 2018.


Working Board members gathered at the Pilgrim House of Blesses Jakub Strepa, 79491 Lviv-Brzuchowice (approximately 10 Kms from Lviv)as they convened their annual meeting.

29 people from 20 European countries were present during the week which saw a review of the work of the member countries since last year’s Working Board meeting; opportunities for reflection and the sharing of best practice; the departure of the Core Group members whose term of office had come to an end and their replacement by new, enthusiastic Working Board members!

Bishop Edward Kawa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Lviv Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), Fr. Stepan Sus, Head of the Centre for the Military Chaplaincy of the Lviv Archdiocese of the UGCC, Sr. Natalia Melnyk, Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family, Association of Religious of Roman Catholics and Greek Catholics in UKRAINE, and Mr. Andriy Moskalenko, Deputy Lord Mayor of Lviv City extended warmth of welcome to us on the first day, each informing us about their respective work and specific actions to combat human trafficking.

Of particular interest was the presentation by Ms. Vera Martynuk  (expert on Human Trafficking in the UKRAINE) on the current situation in the UKRAINE regarding Human Trafficking. Please click here to read the full report. RENATE Annual Working Board meeting Lviv 5 -9 November 2018


RENATE members at Caritas Slovakia share the good news about the commencement of a National Helpline for Victims of Human Trafficking +421 800 800 818


Caritas Slovakia  within the STOP Trafficking Project has been providing care to victims of trafficking for 10 years. By running the helpline it takes on another important role in terms of prevention as well as working with the potential victims of trafficking.

Since September we managed to identify 3 victims of trafficking through the National Trafficking Victims Helpline. Their family members called the helpline and a quick intervention was needed. Immediately we contacted a police deputy in England, who then contacted the local police. In a short time, they made the raids and rescued the victims. We secured their safe return to Slovakia, currently they are back home and entered the Programme for Support and Protection of victims of Human Trafficking that entitles them to be provided with complex, long-term care in the hands of Caritas Slovakia.

About the National Helpline.

The main task of the National Helpline is to provide help and information once contacted by people who have or could have been in a risky situation. When identifying and assisting in such cases, the helpline provides contact with organizations providing professional assistance to victims of trafficking in human beings.

Helpline services are further focused on preventing and eliminating the risks of working abroad. Helpline serves as a tool to prevent the risks associated with labor migration and the unprotected work of vulnerable groups of the population.

The main helpline activities are:

  • First contact with potential victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • Identification of victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • Professional advice on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings;
  • Assisting institutions and organizations in identifying cases of trafficking in human beings and on any issues related to the issue of trafficking in human beings;
  • Providing information on the possibilities of assistance under the Programme for the Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings;
  • Consultancy and verification of agencies for jobseekers abroad;
  • Providing relevant contacts and information available to combat trafficking in human beings.

Operating hours:

week days – 08.00 to 20.00In addition, continuous monitoring of incoming calls is ensured by the answering machine where the caller has the option to leave a message and be contacted back.

The helpline is toll free within Slovakia.

The main partners of the helpline are the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic and Slovak Telekom, a.s.

More at:

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Celebrating with CARITAS Slovakia as they officially launch their refurbished shelter.


On the occasion of the 18 October, 2018, our RENATE colleagues at Caritas Slovakia share the wonderful news they have officially opened their new shelter, named ‘Bakhita House.’

The refurbished house has been transformed into a warm, bright and inviting space where Human Trafficking survivors can access a wide range of supports as they recover and try to regain their independence.

Full report at:

GRETA publishes second report on the Netherlands. Strasbourg, 19/10/2018.


The Netherlands has continued to make progress in the area of combating trafficking in human beings, says the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) in a report published today, whilst calling on the Dutch authorities to take further action in several areas.

The positive steps taken by the Netherlands include the setting up of a national network of regional co-ordinators of assistance provided to victims of trafficking and the increased funding for police and prosecution services dealing with trafficking cases, as well as for the labour inspectorate SZW which is competent to detect and investigate cases of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. The creation of the Victim Identification Board, an independent multidisciplinary body tasked with the identification of victims of human trafficking, is another welcome development. Further, the report commends the awareness-raising campaigns concerning trafficking for different forms of exploitation and the steps taken to strengthen co-operation in the field of labour migration. Particular attention has been paid in the Netherlands to victim compensation and there have been many decisions by courts ordering perpetrators to pay compensation to victims of trafficking.

However, GRETA notes that some issues continue to give rise to concern. GRETA urges the Dutch authorities to ensure that assistance provided to foreign victims of trafficking is not dependent on investigations or prosecutions carried out, and to make sure that all possible foreign victims are consistently offered a recovery and reflection period during which they are allowed to stay in the country. Moreover, GRETA calls upon the Dutch authorities to adopt a new National Action Plan against trafficking in human beings, following the expiry of the previous one in 2014.

GRETA notes with concern the decreasing number of prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking offences in recent years and asks the Dutch authorities to proactively investigate such offences and ensure that they are prosecuted and result in proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Moreover, GRETA considers that the Dutch authorities should make further efforts to improve the identification of and assistance to child victims of trafficking, in particular by developing a National Referral Mechanism for child victims of trafficking.

Complete Report:


International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.




To celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (17 October 2018), the Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe held a working session on Article 31 of the European Social Charter which states that everyone has the right to housing. We know that this fundamental right is far from being achieved in many member states of the Council of Europe.

This is therefore why access to housing is of concern not only to us and policy makers, social workers and landlords… but above all, those who have a right to housing, irrespective of age and family status including young people, single mothers and children. The lack of respect for the right to housing has serious impact on the health of those concerned, on their access to the labour market, education, protection, privacy and autonomy. In other words, it impedes them from living a dignified life. Article 31 is therefore a cornerstone, the respect of which guarantees the fundamental rights laid down in the European Social Charter.

The working session is organized by the transversal working group “Poverty”, coordinated by the Vice-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Miguel Cabral de Pinho. We had the opportunity to exchange points of view to build a vision of the constraints and progress made and to propose courses of action to all the actors concerned.

The meeting took place on 17 October 2018, from 9 am to 1 pm in room 3 of the Council of Europe Palais.

It is the goal of our organizations is to give voice to and share the stories of those who have lived or currently live in poor housing; who do not have access to housing or who have precarious housing.

So, we heard ATD4World (Spain), “Médecins du Monde” (France), Caritas Luxemburg, a special witness on collective complaints, as 14 States only approved art 31of the Charter. The work of FEANTSEAT (, and two more from Alsace: Caritas ”4walls and a roof” and a female physician in Haguenau, who explained her work with Roma Families Housing.

Others in the group shared on how to be efficient and the last woman to speak was a person living on the margins, telling us how difficult it was to live with so little income.

At the end of the meeting, we stood up and read together the citation (text on the photo), which is on a plaque here in Strasbourg, in front of the Council of Europe Building.

Marie Hélène Halligon.


Symposium on Human Trafficking, 6 November, 2018, Vienna.


RENATE member, Magdalena Eichinger, SSpS, shares her news about a forthcoming Symposium on the theme ‘’Trafficked Persons; Invisible or entitled to rights?’’ which will be held from 09:00 – 17:00 on 6 November 2018 at the Juridicum Wien, Schottenbastei 10-16, 1010 Vienna.

This is the inaugural Symposium organised by the ‘’Platform against Exploitation and Human Trafficking,’ of which Solwodi and Magdalena’s congregation (Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit) are members. Ms. Myria Vassiliadou, E.U Anti-Trafficking Coordinator will officiate at the Symposium as guest speakers consider themes such as ‘Exploitation and its various guises’; ‘Support to trafficked persons and access to their rights free from prosecution’; ‘European minimum standards re. identification, rights and support to trafficked persons.’

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend, but please register at:

Please see Flyer’s attached (English and German) for full Symposium details.

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

‘Flash Mob’ helps raise awareness about Human Trafficking to mark the 18 October 2018.


In Padua, to mark the 18 October 2018 (European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings) the N.A.Ve Project (Anti-Trafficking Network for Veneto) with whom RENATE member Tina Ventimiglia(Franciscan Association with the Poor) collaborates, organized various initiatives to raise awareness in schools and for citizens.  One such initiative was a highly successful Flash Mob event at Piazza del Commune in Padua.It was a tremendous success, with heightened awareness and increased interest from the public, enquiring about how they can play a role in supporting the work to combat Human Trafficking and Exploitation.

You can view Tina speaking about her work to support survivors of Human Trafficking at:

Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.