Statement on International Migration…

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NGO Com on Migration  Misión de México ONU  Switzerland at the UN    IOM        GCM

Representative of the GSIJP Team and Mercy International Association team in Geneva for the thematic consultation on migration.   Today Cecilie Kern delivered our joint statement on behalf of both organizations.

 

Read the statement GCM Thematic Session 3 – Informal Stakeholder Dialogue Statement Final

Some snippets:    …vital to maximizing the positive benefits of migration and reducing vulnerabilities for people on the move.    …policies are human rights-based, and therefore universal, and applicable to all migrants, regardless of status.  …border management policies must be human rights-based and gender and age-sensitive. Authorities, including border agents, police, military and other security forces, must be held accountable for human rights violations, including exploitation and corruption.  … provide all migrant women workers with safe, orderly and regular channels for migration that guarantee human rights, full labor rights and social protection for them and their families … Families should never be separated by policy enforcement, and children, including unaccompanied and separated children, should never be placed into detention or criminalized for their migratory status or that of their parents …

Congratulations Cecilie and Colleen – well done!   Today is ….

Refugee Day

Migration – 3rd Thematic Session on International Cooperation

June 19 and 20 at the UN in Geneva the 3rd Thematic Session on Migration is in progress.  The theme is ‘International cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’  The GSIJP Office is represented by Cecilie Kern.  She is accompanied by Colleen Cloonan of the Mercy Global Action at the UN.   Cecilie will delver a joint statement on behalf of both organizations.  The statement is a response to the Issues Brief #3 and supplemented by  experiences from Theresa Symons (MDO Office – Asia Pacific), Magdalena Saavedra from the Philippines and Mercy Global Action office at the UN.

Clare Nolan did an article for Global Sisters Report  in January 2017 based on the experiences of Theresa and Magdalena following the Global Forum on Migration in Dhaka, Bangledesh.

Colleen Cloonan, Cecilie Kern and Winifred Doherty 

Tomorrow June 20th is World Refugee Day 2017.  A separate compact is being prepared to address the issue of Refugees.  Read this article  “Crisis in South Sudan, world’s fastest growing refugee emergency.”

We express appreciation to Sr Regina Hanko of the Province of Austria-Switzerland and Czech Republic for preparing the prayer this month.   English  French and Spanish     See more at Spanish French and English

Here is another prayer in English that has come in my e-mail –  World Refugee Day 2017 Prayer Service

According to the United Nation there are an estimated 58 million people displaced worldwide, 2.3 million asylum seekers, and 34 million people have been forcibly displaced within their own countries. António Guterres announced “These truly are alarming numbers. They reflect individual suffering on a huge scale and they reflect the difficulties of the international community in preventing conflicts and promoting timely solutions for them. The time is NOW to show that the global public stands with refugees.” (Facts and figures: UNHCR assessed April 2016) Taken from the prayer service prepared by ‘Becoming Neighours, Toronto’  See more  

 

Migration in Focus

On Monday and Tuesday, May 22nd and 23rd at the UN in New York, we had the second thematic session on “Addressing drivers of migration, including adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters and human-made crises, through protection and assistance, sustainable development, poverty eradication, conflict prevention and resolution.”  Good Shepherd was substantively engaged in this session.  Winifred was invited to be a respondent following the first panel presentation.  Cecilie made a statement during the informal dialogue with the co-facilitators – the Ambassadors from Mexico and Switzerland to the United Nations.

Migration Winifred  Response to panel 1 on Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication:   English  Espanol

Winifred towards the end around marker 2:49   Webcast

Migation CecilieStatement during the informal dialogue with co-facilitators   English  Espanol

An issue brief for this two day session was issued ahead of the session.  It is a document well worth reading …Issue Brief #2  but only available in English. There is a Spanish and French version of the official website but not all document and events are covered there Official Website

The first thematic session was held in Geneva and addressed the human rights of all migrants.  The thematic sessions prepare the way for an inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations to cover all dimension of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. This is the sort of information that we wished we had when attending our congregational chapter.  In actual fact 2 compacts are being negotiated, the second is on Refugees.  These are specific responses to the UN Summit of September 19th 2016 when a declaration was adopted expressing the political will  of world leaders to save lives, protect rights and share responsibility on a global scale.  The Declaration is referred to as the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants.  It is available in the 6 languages of the UN  HERE

The series of 6 informal thematic session will gather substantive input and concrete recommendations to inform the development of the global compact on migration. The next session is in Geneva  June 19th and 20th on  ‘international cooperation and governance of migration in all its dimensions, including at borders, on transit, entry, return, readmission, integration and reintegration.’ Cecile from NY will attend and will travel to Berlin for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) June 28th to 30th.  Sr Mary Magdalena Z. Saavedra, from the Philippines has been invited to Berlin for this session of the GFMD.  If you remember she attended previous one in Dakar with Theresa Symons.

The 4th, 5th and 6th informal thematic sessions are in New York, Vienna and Geneva respectively. See more  I hope to attend the session in Vienna addressing human trafficking in early September.

I wish to express thanks to Magdalena, Theresa Symons, Clare Nolan, Marta Iris. Georgette Tannoury and Cristina Duranti for their collaboration in preparing for ‘Good Shepherd’ responses for the 2nd Thematic Session.   This is what we need – more input from the grassroots.  You can send an email or just make your comments at the bottom of this article.

Lastly you can get a flavour of the thematic sessions as recordings of the live webcast are available.  Unfortunately the informal dialogue with the co-facilitators was not webcast.   Link to Webcast sessions

The 4th Session  presents a summary of the previous panels – do listen to the thematic expert Binod Khadria around marker 28th …  wish list, reinventing the wheel and action orientated approaches.

 

UNICEF’s Report ‘A child is a child: Protecting children on the move from violence, abuse and exploitation’ English, Spanish and French

French UNICEF                                                                  Lee ahora

UNICEF Report English Read the Report

Spanish UnicefLire maintenant

FAst Facts

Action Agenda

Reviewing the Agreed Conclusions of CSW 61

I was invited to do this for the NGOCSW Committee one month ago – it has taken so long to get around to posting it.  The reason whey it is surfacing again is that the NGO Committee on the Rights of the Child have invited me tomorrow to share the same reflection with them.  The key issues addressed in CSW61 can be gleaned from this graphic on the UN Women Website and interspersed throughout the analysis of Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.  The link is below.Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 8.22.00 PM

Agreed Conclusion of CSW 61 is a lengthy document and can be accessed HERE in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.   An understanding of the document and some key elements for Good Shepherd may be had from the analysis Here or a direct link Analysis of Agreed Conclusions of CSW61

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Link to the WEBCAST

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A fuller document is presented by Ms. Lakshmi Puri, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Report of CSW 61 and Analysis of the Agreed Conclusion

 

 

Integrating Spirituality and #CSW61

Here is a thematic summary of events held during #csw61 in relation to ending human trafficking and prostitution and all violence against girls and women so as to achieve women’s economic liberation.  At least 7 events saw the promotion of the Nordic Model,  through survivors of the sex trade, links between prostitution and other violation of women’s human rights, the work of frontline and advocacy groups, and the links with trafficking in women and girls. A link to full account of the event is HERE   11 events were organized by abolitionist NGO’s dealing specifically with the realities of prostitution and the sex trade.

Marie Helene Halligon has prepared a Way of the Cross /Chemin de Croix for this season of Lent and Holy Week linking with the Human Trafficking.  Chemin de Croix   Way of the Cross  (Sorry no  Spanish version)

The violence against women and girls is stark as presented in the various CSW61 side events and parallel events. But equally strong is the growing strength of the abolitionist movement, groups and NGO’s.

“There is really no such thing as the ‘voiceless’. There are only the deliberatly silenced, or the preferably unheard”,  Arundhati Roy

I am happy to see girls organizations taking up this issue including Wagggs and Rights4Girls.   Rebecca Hunt, from NAWO (National Alliance of Women’s Organizations, UK) Youth, spoke about  “Sexual exploitation is not a good job”. “For society to suggest that prostitution is a safe and decent job is a stain on us all. We need to question this notion, that in times of poverty and lack of opportunities, it is ok for someone to feel that they have no choice but to turn to prostitution. We have to stand up and say, society must have a red line that sexual exploitation is, without question, unacceptable and cannot be considered a decent job”.

Read more on the situation of girls

Another aspect raised was ‘trading on the female body’ addressing surrogacy. Surrogacy is an international problem that demands an international solution. Speakers highlighted the similar root causes with prostitution, in terms of demand, system, business-driven industry, exploitation of women and the most vulnerable ones.

Did #CSW 61 address any of these issues in the outcome document?  Well not really.  Human trafficking is referenced 5 times in the document see Advanced unedited edition CSW 61 Outcome Document  Paragraph 14, h, and  qq. ‘ Devise, strengthen and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking strategies that integrate a human rights and sustainable development perspective, and enforce, as appropriate, legal frameworks, in a gender and age-sensitive manner, to combat and eliminate all forms of trafficking in persons; raise public awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons, in particular women and girls;  take measures to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to modern slavery and sexual exploitation; and enhance international cooperation, inter alia, to counter with a view to eliminating the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation and forced labour;

Sexual harassment gets two mentions in Paragraph 14 and h – listed with Human Trafficking.  h. “Develop and apply gender-sensitive measures for the protection from, prevention and punishment of all forms of violence against women and girls in public and private spaces, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, trafficking in persons and femicide, among others, to promote the realization of women’s and girls’ economic rights and empowerment and facilitate women’s full and productive employment and contribution to the economy, including by facilitating changes in gender stereotypes and negative social norms, attitudes and behaviours, inter alia, through promoting community mobilization, women’s economic autonomy and the engagement of men and boys, particularly community leaders; and explore, where possible, measures to respond to the consequences of violence against women, such as employment protection, time off from work, awareness training, psychosocial services and social safety nets for women and girls who are victims and survivors of violence, and furthering their economic opportunities;”

Facilitating changes in gender stereotypes and negative social norms, attitudes and behaviors is the challenge.

Read the latest Newsletter Stop Trafficking Shaming Companies that turn a blind eye to sexual exploitation.

 

Celebrating women who are no longer left behind and Marietta Latonio who has made the difference.

A parallel event on Wednesday March 22nd entitled ‘Inherent Dignity, Real Choices: A Preventive Approach to Ending Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation’ celebrated women who are no longer ‘left behind’ and a woman – Marietta Latonio – who has made the differences.

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This was a collaborative event with Mercy International, UNANIMA International, the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary and US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking. The event was recorded and uploaded on You Tube

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Marietta Latonio, advocate, researcher, professor of social work, and monitor and evaluation officer at Good Shepherd Welcome House, Cebu in the Philippines was awarded a ‘Woman of Courage’ by Sr Jean Quinn, Executive Director of UNANIMA International in recognition of her work and dedication. It was stressed that she is a woman who gives of herself. Remember she co-researched with Angela Reed  ‘I Have A Voice Trafficked women – in their own words’

 

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We were honored to have H.E. Mrs Irene Susan B Natividad, Deputy Representative of the Mission of the Philippines Mission to the United Nations attending the event. Later in the evening we discovered that Her Excellency is a niece of Sr Mary James Wilson RGS. Small world!

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Great pictures – Marietta, H.E. Mrs Irene Susan B Natividad (in the center) and Jean Quinn. Angela Reed – the moderator of the event standing in the back. The event opened and closed with a group named ‘Raging Grannies’ a socially conscious non-violent group who bring lots of fun and laughter to the cause. Lyrics to Love and Justice:

Chorus:  Love and Justice be my flag I’ll live my truth what e’re will be                                                    I swear that I cannot rest till there is equality Love and Justice be my flag                           I’ll live my truth whatever comes so many rivers to cross till our journey’s done

More connections – one of the members of the group worked as a social worker in Good Shepherd Services NY many years ago!  A central part of the event had the recorded voices of women from Welcome House, Cebu who are now empowered women through care and education.

Stories

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Mariana Vanin – Programme and Communications Officer of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) (pictured above) was a panelist with Winifred Doherty. Winifred noted the similairites in approach offered at Welcome House in Cebu and at Ruhama, Dublin Ireland.  The advocacy work of Ruhama was instrumental in the passing of the new sexual offense criminal bill whereby anyone who buys sex is prosecuted and women in prostitution are decriminalized. Prostitution is violence.

Congratulations Marietta!

Co-sponsors

Back Row – Angela Reed; Cecelia O’Dwyer; Jean Quinn.   Front Row – Mariana Vanin; Winifred Doherty; Marietta Latonio.