UN Webcast – Stakeholder hearing on review the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons

This stakeholder hearing was held on June 23rd.   The Agenda for the day GPOA 2017 Appraisal Multi-Stakeholder Hearing PGA Letter 2017-06-19 (Provisional Programme  will give you the structure of the day and who the panelists are.   This is the link to the morning session.  Listen to the trafficking survivor, Ms Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew who spoke of her experience in the USA.  See 16.4  “T” spoke of the need for a

  • Multi-disclipinary team approach
  • Trauma informed care
  • Women and girls need a seat at the table
  • Compensation for survivors
  • Target male demand
  • Survivors stand against labels and stigma

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See 1.21 and following to hear ‘Equality Now ‘and ‘Coalition Against Trafficking Person’ deliver their statements   See See 1.36 to hear you know who!

The moderator from UN Women Ms. Purna Sen made the following comment.  “Women and girls represent 71% of all trafficked victims detected globally, and represent 96% of women and girls who are victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation and young girls represent two thirds of all child trafficking victims and the % of girls trafficked in all forms of trafficking is actually the increase.”

The second panel focused on trafficking in persons in armed conflict, humanitarian crisis and natural disasters.  It was moderated by an Irish lady ‘Grainne Ohara,’ Deputy Director of the Executive Office UNHCR.


Some interesting blogs on the Human Trafficking

On Friday June 23 there was a multi stakeholder hearing on the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person.  Both organizations – the Greek Orthodox Church and IBVM (Loretto) attended the event and did a summary. See Links below:

From the Greek Orthodox Church at the UN 

From the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM) at the UN

As I write this I have just learned the the US Trafficking in Person Report is published.  The link to the report Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017


“This year’s Report focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable. To that end, this Report is intended to assist governments in identifying threats so law enforcement agencies around the world can respond effectively and gain insight into where human trafficking remains most severe. The Report will also equip local and sub-national law enforcement agencies to better assist in efforts to target and prosecute those
who commit these terrible crimes.”  An interesting graphics – countries that have not yet ratified the Palermo Protocol.  Good Shepherd are present in 4 of these countries.

TIP 17

See our advocacy points at the UN  CSTIP Advocacy Doc for Global Plan of Action

Migration, Human Trafficking and Sustainable Development Goals achievement 2017!

Migration, Human Trafficking and Sustainable Development Goals’ achievement 2017 are some issues that are to the fore at the GSIJP Office and the UN over the past few weeks and will continue over the next few months.  DCq9mBBWAAAThKD.jpg-large

Scene in the conference room in Geneva at the thematic consultation June 2017

Cecile Kern has been in Geneva for the thematic consultations in preparation for the Migration Compact.  She is traveling to Berlin for the Global Forum on Migration and Development next week.  The theme is “Towards a Global Social Contract on Migration and Development. (Berlin 28th – 30 June 2017) There is some good reading in the concept paper gfmd_2017-2018_co-chairmanship_draft_concept_paper  I am selecting from page 5  ‘From Global Agreement to Implementation – National Action Plans for migration-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’

With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, migration has been, for the first time, included in the global development framework. Overall, seven SDGs can be considered as particularly migration-relevant.

  •  Target 10.7 is specifically dedicated to migration and calls for the facilitation of “orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies”
  • Target 10c calls for a reduction of remittances costs
  • Target 3.c on health personnel calls for a better retention of work force in   developing countries, thus reducing brain drain
  • Target 4.b calls for an expansion of the number of scholarships available for young people from developing countries
  • Target 8.8 protects labour rights and promotes safe and secure working environments of all workers, including migrant workers, particularly women, and those in precarious employment
  • Target 16.9 calls for legal identity, in particular birth registration, for all
  • Finally, target 17.18 calls for better data disaggregated by migratory status

Additionally, targets 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2 address various aspects of human trafficking, in particular trafficking of women and children. The review will take place at global, regional and national levels as well as thematically with regard to ecological, social and economic drivers for migration. The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) will play a central role in overseeing the follow-up and review process at the global level through annual meetings under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and quadrennial under the auspices of the General Assembly. Thematic reviews will be delivered under ECOSOC. The measurement of indicators will be led by the UN Statistical Commission which also implies the identification of indicators, methodologies and responsible agencies.

The implementation of the migration-related SDGs allows for a renewed national understanding of migration as a positive factor of development and facilitates the process of developing coherent migration policies at national and regional level.



How do these goals and targets, government policy and plans, and Good Shepherd Strategic Plans at Unit and Regional Level inform and impact each other?  Sister Mary Magdalena Z. Saavedra from the Philippines is attending the session in Berlin.  Initially Magdalena and Theresa Symons were selected based to go to Bangladesh based on the replies they make to requests for information on what they were doing in migration work.

Presently there is a lot of awareness about the vulnerability of people who are migrating to being trafficked.  This concern was also expressed within the UN Multi Stakeholders hearing facilitated by the President of the General Assembly on June 23, 2017   This hearing was in preparation for the review and appraisal of the UN Global Plan to Combat Trafficking in Person – an appraisal taking place every 4 years within the the General Assembly.   This session will culminate in a political declaration at the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on September 27 and 28th, 2017.  At the session I  presented on behalf of the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Person see CSTIP Advocacy Doc for Global Plan of Action  5 points – Adopt, Adhere, Actualize, Allocate and Address!

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Human trafficking is mentioned 3 times in the Sustainable Development Goals 5.2, 8.7 and 16.2.  While you have seen me write about Alliance 8.7 it is important that we keep our eye on the other two targets as well – ending violence against girls and women and developing peaceful societies.  The Sustainable Development Goals are indivisible.  A new group is being formed ‘Partnership 5.2′ to ensure that trafficking and prostitution are  recorded as gendered violent acts that must be rooted out and addressed legally, socially and culturally within a human rights framework.  Stay tuned for more information.

On June 21st there was a side event cosponsored by the Governments of Sweden and Panama together with UN Women and UNODC and the NGO’s CATW , Equality Now and Apne Aap Some of the tweets from the session will give you a flavor of the event.

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Statement on International Migration…


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