July 30th ‘World Day Against Trafficking Persons.’ Who’s saying What…

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This picture comes from the UN Geneva Website.   The theme of the day is “Let’s act now to protect and assist trafficking victims”.  Executive Director of UNODC has issued the following  STATEMENT calling attention to the links between conflict and trafficking and migrant smuggling.  “The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants calls for nations, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to enter a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration. In preparation, the UN General Assembly will hold a session in Vienna, Austria, on 4-5 September 2017 to discuss these issues, particularly the protection and assistance needed in connection with trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants”.  (I hope to attend this session in Vienna on 4-5 September)

Special Rapporteurs Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons especially Women and Children) and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio,  (Special Rapporteur on Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children) speaking ahead of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons on Sunday 30 July issued this STATEMENT expressing much concern for children and what is happening to them. The title of the statement is ‘Migrant children at risk of trafficking and exploitation as current protection systems fail them’.

Screen Shot 2017-07-28 at 9.11.09 PMExplanation of the raison d’être of the day can be had in English   French and  Spanish

‘Act to Protect and Assist Trafficked Persons’

This year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has chosen ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons’ as the focus of the World Day. This topic highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time — the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts the spotlight on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.        #HumanTrafficking #EndHumanTrafficking

World Mission Magazine published by the Comboni Fathers in the Philippines published three articels on Human Trafficking in their July edition.

We are all complicit Winifred Doherty, Contributor.  A crime gainst children … Fr Shay Cullen, Preda Foundation, and Religious combating human trafficking, Clara Torres Acevedo, Comboni Missionary Sister.  Coming soon … the on line version!

Global Sisters Report has an article entitled “The worldwide debate on sex work: morality meets reality”

Lastly the GSIJP prayer for the the month was prepared on this very theme by Donatus Lili, the NGO Regional Designate for Africa.  While all of the material above is in English only the prayer is in three languages  English  French and Spanish

 

16 Days Campaign to end Gender Based Violence November 25 – December 10

Today is day 3 of the campaign.  Mercy Global Action at the UN in partnership with Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd are engaging in the full 16 days of activism.  #16Days16Stories is part of the UN sponsored 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence. Our campaign focuses on the experience of formerly trafficked women and girls who give testimony to gender discrimination and marginalization from childhood into early adulthood.  Their stories, told in their own words, highlight the many human rights violations and cumulative disadvantages in their life journeys. Through their stories, survivor advocates provide key insights into preventative measures to end human trafficking.

The launch video and 16 stories can be accessed by clicking on  #16days16stories  Each day a new video is uploaded.  On the 25th we heard from Aleta who said “from the time I was born I labelled myself as a disgrace because I was born as a result of my parent’s extramarital affair.” On the 26th Emerita who was born in 1992 in Mindanao said “I am the fourth of five children. My father worked in a fishing company owned by his friend but was later fired by the owner because my father had a mistress in the office,” and today November 27th  Katrina shared “when I was two, my mother and father left us in the care of our elder brother, who was 12 at that time. They went to Cebu for work, an island far away from where we lived…”  Having read to the testimony of each women the viewer is asked to reflect for a few moments;  presented with points to ponder and suggested actions to take.

A Guide to using the Videos was also prepared.

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The 16 days of activism against gender-based Violence Campaign has as its theme this year ‘From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World’ and proposed that organizations around the world plan a twitter teach-in.   If interested in knowing more about a twitter teach-in  Click Here!    @gsijp  @mercyworldwide are the Twitter handles using #16days16stories and #GBVteachin   The Twitter Teach in @gsijp @mercyworldwide follows the points to ponder and take action of the 16 videos.

Read the book  ‘I Have A Voice – Trafficked Women in their own Words‘ by Angela Reed.  Tomorrow Leah tells her story.  (Please note the videos are available on Vimeo at HERE

Ms. Nadia Murad Basee Taha appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking

Nadia                 Ms Murad, a 23 year-old Yazidi woman and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who survived trafficking at the hands of ISIL, briefed the UN Security Council in the first-ever session on human trafficking, which was held during the presidency of the United States on December 16. 2016. She described being rounded up with fellow Yazidis in Iraq in 2014, and witnessing as ISIL fighters shot men and boys in cold blood. She was subject to grave abuses at the hands of ISIL fighters, and bought and sold various times.

A relentless advocate for victims, Ms. Murad was recently named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2016.” She has met with various heads of state and global leaders to raise the plight of Yazidi victims of trafficking. Her appointment as UN Goodwill Ambassador will mark the first time that a survivor of atrocities is given this distinction. During her Ambassadorship, Nadia will focus on advocacy initiatives and raising awareness around the plight of millions of victims of trafficking in persons, especially refugees, women, and girls.

The appointment ceremony will take place on September 16th, 3.00 – 4.00 p.m. in the Trusteeship Council Chamber, United Nations Headquarters, New York.

‘Prostitution affects all of us, not just those in it.’

The title of this post comes from the last summary point of a well research and informative article by Melissa Farley entitled ‘Very inconvenient truths: sex buyers, sexual coercion, and prostitution-harm-denial.’  The article has a number of headings addressing the various issues that arise when we talk about decriminalizing prostitution and addressing DEMAND which drives prostitution.  Taking a holistic approach realizing that prostitution affects all of us and not just those in it is worth considering.

There is another summary point ‘at the root of prostitution, just like other coercive systems, are dehumanization, objectification, sexism, racism, misogyny, lack of empathy/pathological entitlement (pimps and johns), domination, exploitation, and a level of chronic exposure to violence and degradation that destroys the personality and the spirit.’  All of these systems are root causes of the persistence of violence against women.  Prostitution is one of these violences.

Another comment that you may wish to explore and determine how to answer is ‘Prostitution cannot be made safe by legalizing or decriminalizing it. Prostitution needs to be completely abolished.’    Read the full article here

Global Sisters Report – July 29th

 

stop-human-trafficking-word-cloud-related-words-sign-38417317Catholic sisters among those embracing international efforts against Human Trafficking writes Chris Herlinger, a reporter for Global Sisters who attended the July 13th ‘side event’ at the United Nations.

‘Mercy Sr. Angela Reed, who represents the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy International Association at the U.N. has conducted extensive research on the issue of sex trafficking in the Philippines and her native Australia.

“There is no quick fix or grand solution for eliminating the exploitation and commodification of people,” she said, stressing that the problem has its roots in poverty and related issues.’   Read the full article here

July 30 – World Day against Trafficking in Persons

In 2013 the United Nations General Assembly designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This was an action taken following review of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Person adopted in 2010.  The Global Plan of Action is scheduled to be reviewed in 2017.  Will we see political will  and action commensurate with ‘the bold and transformative steps …needed to shift the world onto a sustainable and resilient path’ when member states ‘pledged that no one will be left behind.’  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Targets within Goal 5, 16 and 8 address human trafficking.

Maria Grazia Giammarinaro,the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children in Geneva on June 30, 2015 said “Today, we should look at trafficking as an economic and social issue, linked with global trends including migration. Therefore prevention is key.  …in the current situation, people fleeing persecution, war or other emergencies are amongst the most vulnerable, often exposed to the risk of trafficking, including children traveling alone, women and girls who are raped during the journey and exploited in prostitution at destination, men, women and children obliged to accept inhuman working conditions to survive.”

The Special Rapporteur ended her address with the following “Trafficking takes place because enormous economic interests lie behind exploitation of the global poor. However, this can be stopped, if people of good will – both powerful people and simple citizens – feel that trafficking is morally and socially unacceptable, and take action against exploitation, injustice, and human rights violations.”

On 13 July 2016 during the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See, in cooperation with the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons, the Salesian Missions, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and ECPAT-USA organized a panel on Eliminating the Trafficking of Children and Youth   See the July 13 Poster Eliminating Child Trafficking   Angela Reed, Mercy Sister was one of the panelists proposing a human rights based life-course approach to end human trafficking.

un-Ihaveavoice-cover-300px-212x300     World Day Against H T

 

“A child of God, sold on the market as a goat, I will never accept that!” St Mary Euphrasia.

This month the prayer is on the theme of Human Trafficking and available in three languages  English  French  Spanish

The Spirituality Center has distributed a reflection paper on the occasion of the 220th year of the birth of St Mary Euphrasia.  Check HERE as a way of integrating justice peace, ministry and spirituality.

Good Shepherd HT

 

Ending Human Trafficking by 2030: The role of Global Partnership in Eradicating Modern Slavery

The Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations hosted an event on Ending Human Trafficking by 2030 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  The event is over three hours long and made up of a number of panels.  It is a very informative event.  The panels included a keynote panel, followed by a panel on ‘The Scope of the Problem and the Opportunities it Provides.’  The third panel  focused on ‘What Is Being Done To Address the Problem in a Coordinated Way,’ followed by ‘Insights from Member States’ and closing.  Link to the Web cast

machariakamau_0_0The most outstanding speaker for me was H.E. Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Ambassador to the United Nations and one of the Co-Chairs of Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. See the full Program of speakers. Ambassador Kamau of all the speakers identified clearly what needs to be done to bring about change. He spoke from his experience. The resistances referred to are real and constitute the challenges that must be addressed.  If you wish to listen to his address move the marker to 3.01 approx.  Ambassador Kamau said ‘it is interesting that we are having this conversation this evening on modern slavery because when I was working for the Sustainable Development Goals, which I was co-charing, you cannot imagine how difficult it was to get these key issues on board. When working on 8.7 it took the direct intervention of the Pope himself – I was sitting there and I know because I scripted it.  These issues were incredible complex, but I am thrilled to see all are on board, and wanting to get on with the business of finishing this scourge from the face of the earth.

For us,  those of us of colour, this is not something we see as a modern phenomena. It is deeply rooted in our history, and our being for over 500 years. There is a monument outside, dedicated to modern slavery, slavery period really – transatlantic slavery, but it could equally be the Indian Ocean Slavery. I don’t know if many of you have seen it?  It took the United Nations  almost 70 odd years to mobilize the gumption to actually put it there.  You would not believe the amount of resistance we have faced over the past 10 years to have a monument to slavery, here at the United Nations.

I am thrilled that there seems to be such voices speaking for this issue and that everyone is finally on board on this issue.  Indeed the Pope was clear, the Pope was clear on many other things too – climate change, inequality, and I want you to know that we were confronted by a huge amount of resistance to have these issues included.  Issues of slavery, of human trafficking, are horrific issues that have deep roots in history, and has deep roots in our psychology. It represents a racism, misogyny, horrible prejudices that have warped the way in which the world functions, to this very day.

We should be clear, if we are serious about the issue of modern slavery, we need to fundamentally reassess the way in which we are in modern society, the way we have been as human beings to each other, the way in which we are as human beings to each other.

8.7 is just a target.  8.7 is a target among 169 other targets.  But I can assure you that 8.7 will mean absolutely nothing, if we are unable to take care of other fundamental challenges that have to do with the way we as  human beings reach out to each other.  How are we able to allow and facilitate the development of all society so that within our countries  inequalities disappear.  Besides those people who are trafficked are trafficked from our countries and they are going to destinations that are in our countries.

We have to take structural responsibility for this.  All the legislation, and good will in the world, if not followed by change of will and a change of mentality, as to how we treat each other, and as to how we embrace each other as human beings,   will mean in the end that we will not succeed.

I am afraid, whether we are talking of unemployment, inequality, issues of gender or climate change which has a direct impact on forcing people into slavery, as their land becomes destroyed – when, the where with all to live off that land is decimated by drought, it is impossible that you expect that these people will not be carted off into all kinds of exploitation, including modern slavery

My message to this forum – yes 8.7!   8.7 helps us to focus,  but 8.7,  this is only symptomatic of a  fundamental and structural challenge that faces us human being, and us as a collective global society.  Somehow, we have to find the belief and the determination to undertake the real structural transformation that is needed in our societies and economies in order to be be able to do what it is we claim to be doing to combat abuse, slavery and exploitation of one human being by the other.

Nuncio, I could tell you about what Kenya is doing – we have legislation of all kinds and acts on the books for a long time.  I bet that Nigeria has probably as many as we do, but if fundamentals do not change, nothing will change.  My sincere hope is that the Pope will continue to focus all our attentions on this issue, in his way, in a manner that challenges us to go beyond the issue of slavery which is a horrific issue, but touches on the way in which we receive each other, embrace each other and ultimately give a space to each other to live in this world as equal being.”

You might ask what is 8.7 ?  This is a way of referring to Sustainable Goal 8   ‘Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all’

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and Target 7  ‘Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

Other Highlights:  Ms Dona Hubbard witnessed to her personal experience.  An inspiration – see Marker 1.09.  Dona is a member of Airline Ambassadors International.

Imelda Poole of RENATE was a panelist see marker at 1.22 RENATE is a network of religious throughout Europe engaged in ministry to trafficked persons.    Imelda Poole

Human trafficking is mentioned in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development in two other places.  Paragraph 27 which is the declaration part of the Agenda states “We will seek to build strong economic foundations for all our countries.  Sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth essential for prosperity.  This will only be possible if wealth is shared and income inequality is addressed.  We will work to build  dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centered economies, promoting youth employment, and women’s economic empowerment, in particular, and decent work for all.  We will eradicate forced labour and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms…”   Goal 5 Target 2  states ‘Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private Spheres, including trafficking  and sexual and other types of exploitation.”  Goal 16 Target 2 “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children.”

E_SDG_Icons-05                   Goal 16