In a series of short reports, Sr. Monica Chickwe, som, shares a number of events which took place to mark the International World Day of Awareness and Prayer against Human Trafficking, 8th February 2017.
- USMI 04/02/2017
USMI organised a Prayer Vigil with the theme ‘’I am a Child, not a Slave,’’ which took place on the 4th February. It was a moment of meditation, reflection and sharing of experiences by sisters working at various levels to assist and protect the victims of human trafficking. Bishop Gianrico Ruzza presided over the prayer Vigil, which was well attended. RENATE member Sr. Monica Chickwe gave a presentation on a number of networks of Sisters who are working at various levels to help stop human trafficking: USMI, RENATE, and TALITA KUM.
- SEMINAR AT THE PARISH OF ST. FRUMENZIO 05/02/2017
Human Trafficking- “Women and Children on sale”
RENATE member, Sr. Monica Chickwe was amongst a number of guest speakers invited to speak on the issue of human trafficking, to the parishioners of St. Frumenzio in Rome. The parish had organised the seminar, which was an enriching experience for both attendees and the speakers.
Bishop Paolo Lojudice, Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Rome-southern section, quoted many passages in Scripture which refer to prostitution, (Leviticus 19:29, Sirach 14:12 etc.), saying that even the Prophet Isaiah was asked to marry a prostitute.
In speaking about the initiatives such as ministry to people working on the streets, the production of awareness-raising activities such as ‘’The Crucified Women,’’ Bishop Lojudice believes that violence against women is the most fearful aspect of modern day slavery, contributing to a culture of violence against women, children and the weakest members of society. He stated that human trafficking is a global phenomenon which is not limited to a certain sector of society, nor is it limited to certain countries. He urged every intervention should be undertaken to address the problem of demand, which is a root cause.
Another guest speaker, Sr. Eugenia Bonetti, shared her personal experience from the beginning, on her return to Italy in 1993 and her very first encounter with a lady on the street who opened her eyes about the phenomenon of human trafficking.
Sr. Monica Chikwe presented on the Nigerian situation: cultural, political, social, economic and otherwise and made specific reference to the States of origin of many of the girls trafficked into Europe.
- Slaves No More 08/02/1.
Approximately 130 people attended a seminar on the issue of human trafficking, organised by the Slaves No More Association in collaboration with the Be Free Association, together with the church, the government and Civil society. This enriching seminar offered an opportunity to view the issue of human trafficking from different perspectives.
- UK Ambassador to THE HOLY SEE, 09/02/17
Her Excellency R.H. Mrs. Sally Axworthy, arranged a roundtable discussion to mark the world day of prayer against human trafficking, at which many Ambassadors to the Holy See from different countries were invited. There was also representation from USMI, JDP, UISG and Talitakum.
The discussion were enriched by the shared experiences from different countries. Mons. Sanchez Sorrondo gave a presentation on church activities in support of the keen interest of His Holiness Pope Francis to combat this phenomenon.
It is noteworthy that there is an increasing level of activities focused on the 8th of February each year, with events taking place in Palermo, Milan, Bergamo, Brescia and other communities.
We continue to pray that St. Josephine Bakitha will continue to intercede on behalf of the victims and ask God to touch the heart of traffickers and consumers so that this scourge will come to an end.
Sr. Monica Chikwe SOM