The 2nd Assembly of RENATE in Rome 2016 ‘’Ending Trafficking Begins With US.’’
RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking against Trafficking and Exploitation) has welcomed 130 members from many European countries, to Rome, for their second European Assembly (6-12 November 2016). Here they reflected, learnt, dialogued and shared best practices to combat human trafficking and exploitation. They were motivated by excellent inputs, workshops, presentations and through the testimony of the survivors of this modern slavery. During the second day of the assembly the RENATE Members had a special meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican and each participant had the privilege of greeting His Holiness in person. This was a joyful day for each of them. Imelda Poole IBVM, the President of RENATE, thanked Pope Francis on behalf of the organization, citing specific ways in which he has raised awareness of human trafficking, especially of the suffering of the trafficked. Pope Francis was also thanked for the tremendous support given to those working to eliminate human trafficking and who support and work with survivors. . Please click the link to read the full report: The 2nd Assembly of RENATE in Rome 2016 ‘’Ending Trafficking begins with US.’’
Modern Slavery Garden wins gold at the Chelsea Flower Show, May 2016
Awarded gold, Juliet Sargeant’s Modern Slavery Garden highlighted the chilling fact that, two centuries after the passing of the Slavery Act, there are still 27 million slaves worldwide. At the heart of the Modern Slavery Garden is an oak tree, similar to the one (still alive in Sussex, UK) under which William Wilberforce stood when he dedicated his life to ending slavery, symbolising hope. A series of front doors such as you see on every street led to a path of freedom planted with a riot of colour, to uplift and give hope.
You can see and hear Juliet Sargeant speak about the garden at: http://www.itv.com/news/update/2016-05-17/designer-brings-modern-slavery-garden-to-chelsea-flower-show/
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.
The visit to the National Centre of Asylum Seekers in Albania
On December 11th 2015 Members from the URAT Network attended a visit at the National centre of Asylum seekers in Babrru, Tirana. In the center are 130 foreign nationals accommodated in the reception center for asylum seekers which has a maximum capacity of 170 persons. The asylum seekers who are at the moment in the centre are from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Congo, Bosnia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Armenia and Kosovo. There are refugees that have escaped from their countries of origin even for political and religious reasons so the cameras exposure of asylum seekers has been almost impossible. For more information please read the report…
RENATE Mapping Across Europe
Just published, the RENATE Mapping Across Europe Report provides rich insights into the contribution being made by women religious, their congregations and associates in the world-wide efforts to bring an end to Human Trafficking. Set within the wider context of the most recent US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report published in July 2015, the RENATE Mapping Across Europe Report illustrates the diverse actions undertaken by RENATE members in 13 countries from East, Central and Western Europe. These actions range from victim protection through shelters, to education-awareness, informing policy, recovery and integration, advocacy as well as campaigning.
In addition to assessing existing systems of victim identification and support within the 13 participating countries, attention is drawn to possible loopholes within such systems, as well as risks of abuse and exploitation. Attentive to the pain of the victims of human trafficking, the Report proposes conclusions and recommendations which when implemented, have the power to transform the lives of those who are the victims of this crime against humanity. RENATE Mapping Across Europe
Introduction by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person, www.renate-europe.net
RENATE Members attend Training for Transformation and Board Meeting in Dublin.
Members travelled from across 16 European countries to All Hallows College, Dublin, for this training programme and board meeting, from the 26th to the 30th of October, 2015. Most enjoyed and gained much benefit from the three-day training.
It was followed by input from various organisations located in Ireland and working to stop human trafficking: Continue Reading: Report from RENATE Training in Ireland.
The 3rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters, 3rd-6th November, 2015
Advocates for women’s shelters, health care workers, women working as social workers and other NGO’s are amongst the participants from more than 95 countries around the world currently attending the conference, including RENATE members Adina Balan, SJ and Ivonne van de Kar, who will co-present a presentation on RENATE at the Conference. The Conference is an initiative arising from the Global Network of Women’s Shelters (GNWS), the Dutch Foundation of Women’s Shelters and its partners, with a view to connecting and acting together in order to end violence against women. Continue Reading: Conference Centre World Forum, The Hague, the Netherlands
SEMINAR ON STRENGTHENING POLICEWOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SKILLS
The Albanian State Police are conducting an initiative to enable mid-ranking policewomen to take on operational command roles for the first time. In response to the ASP request to support them in this initiative, identified training needs by the beneficiary and in line with its mandate and agreed activities under component 1 of the project, PAMECA IV together with ICITAP supported this ASP initiative by recruiting an STE who designed and delivered a 5 days training course on leadership skills to contribute to strengthening policewomen’s leadership skills and advocacy aiming to enable mid-ranking policewomen to take on operational command roles for the first time. Continue Reading: Mr William Morrell working for ICITAP coordinated the programme for this training.
GLOW Peace Corps Initative
GLOW is a Peace Corps initiative to teach girls about leadership, women’s empowerment, and self-awareness/health through collaboration and peer-based learning. Although already well underway in other Peace Corps countries, GLOW Albania is celebrating its first full year of GLOW activities – Local GLOW Camps and the recent National GLOW Conference. On a few occasions this year, 2015, Peace Corps have requested staff from MWL to lead a training at their Glowcamps on anti-trafficking. Gazmir Memaj and Irena Kraja, two of the MWL staff have responded to this request. The pictures show them in action.
February 8th, St Bakhita Day: First International Day of Prayer Against Trafficking
St Bakhita day was held for the first time as an international day of prayer on Sunday February 8th, 2015. Imelda was invited to participate in Rome at the Press Release announcing this day of prayer on February 4 – 5. Apart from the 30+ journalists, those present included Sr Gabrielle, the Director of Talitha Kum and many dignitaries from the church including three Cardinals representing Justice and Peace, Migrants and Refugees and UISG. It was an opportunity to speak against this horrific crime.
“The primary objective of the International Day is to create greater awareness on this
phenomenon and to reflect on the overall situation of violence and injustice that affect so
many people, who have no voice, do not count, and are no one: they are simply slaves.’’
In Albania we chose to have an event at The Cathedral in Tirana, which MWL staff organized with URAT, the network against trafficking. We showed the film of the life of St Bakhita followed by a prayer service against trafficking. It was a profound experience for everybody as we remembered the victims of sex trafficking, labour trafficking, child trafficking and organ trafficking. It will be an important event every year in the church.
URAT Network Renewed
On September 22nd 2015, a newly gathered network against trafficking in Albania gathered at the offices of Mary Ward Loreto to discuss its way forward. The new network consisted of a partnership between Sisters from different congregations, Different and Equal, Little Angels and the NGO SHKEJ, Peace Corps and Mary Ward Loreto. This meeting led us to elect officers for the group and to delegate a sub group to devise a new leaflet with a renewed vision and mission. We made the decision, amongst other things, to focus into the near future on working to rid Albania of the stigma laid on girl victims of trafficking put on them by the culture of the country.We also made the decision to include and invite into our network a member of one of the round tables linked to the National Referral Mechanism round table and also any other interested parties.
The pictures included in this report express the dynamic of the meeting.
Tony Blair Faith Foundation
During the last week of February, 2015, Imelda Poole IBVM, President of MWL Foundation, had been invited to teach in two webinars for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. This was the third time in Albania that she had been invited to do this. Over two days she led two webinars with 6 schools. The topic was ‘Human Trafficking: Issues and Prevention.’ The first one included Northern Ireland, and two schools from Mexico. The second webinar included schools from India, Indonesia, Jordan and Pakistan. In both webinars the session was for two hours. The students were very well prepared asking reflective questions and over the time we delved deeper and deeper into the topic. The main areas of concern were regarding the lack of will in society to combat this terrible crime and the lack of a global coordinated approach. The questions also browsed around issues relating to the internet and the deep net. The young participators led the way and were very shrewd.
UCESM: Meeting of the Union of Major Religious Superiors In Europe in Albania, March 2015
On March 26th , Imelda was invited to present RENATE at the AGM of UCESM, the Major Religious Superiors Conference in Europe. 30 European conferences were represented by about 70 religious . Imelda was warmly welcomed and received good feedback after her presentation. One of the excellent fruits of this presentation has been on-going conversation with a priest and religious from the Ukraine who were looking for help to initiate anti trafficking work in their country. This conversation continues and now two of the RENATE members from Slovakia will be going to The Ukraine in the autumn to meet the priests and religious and to look at the way forward in this challenging work. Also and since that meeting, a religious present at the meeting has donated from her congregation, 5,000 euro for the work of RENATE. For this we are very grateful. The following day some of the MWL staff came on pilgrimage with the 50 members of UCESM to Shkodra. It was towards the end of Lent and we made a most moving stations of the cross following in the footsteps of the many martyrs, priests and nuns who had died during the communist regime, in Albania, ,for their faith. We finished the day with Mass at The Cathedral in Shkodra.