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

 

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

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“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.

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

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.

 

 

Attending the Eight Session of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime – Vienna October 17 – 21, 2016

 

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Today is day 4 of the 8th Session of the Conference of Parties  (COP8) to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) at the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in Vienna.  It has been a busy four days with Plenary meeting coupled with parallel meeting of Working Groups, and Side Events.

NGO’s form the  Alliance of NGO’s on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice This group was meeting on Monday morning October 17 to begin to work on a statement to be made in the plenary session under item 2 (b) Trafficking in Persons Protocol.  Read the statement While we were happy to be a contributor to this statement Angela Reed, Sisters of Mercy had the opportunity to make another statement.  cop8_gs_som_oct_2016

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We had the pleasure of meeting Olga Zhyvytsya who was representing Caritas Internationalis, PCMI and several other organizations who also presented a statement.  Good Shepherd had been invited to sign on to this  statement through Good Shepherd International Foundation in Rome.  However due to limited time constraints our signature did not reach in time.

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(Angela and Olga after the statements were delivered)

We had the opportunity to meet with the US Ambassador Luis E. Arreaga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, US National Statement on Transnational Organized Crime  and Ambassador Susan Coppedge, from the US State Department, Trafficking in Person Office.

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US-UN Mission Vienna ‏@usunvie Oct 18.@JTIP_State Amb. Coppedge and @StateINL PDAS Arreaga discuss #traffickinginpersons with NGO’s today at sidelines of #UNTOC #endslavery  (Twitter US-UN Mission Vienna)

Today the NGO’s had a meeting with the newly elected president of COP 8 Her Excellency Pilar Saborío de Rocafort,  exploring paths of cooperation on #HumanTrafficking.

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There were many side events – co-sponsored by NGO colleagues whose members we know in New York – Soroptimist International and Zonta.  We met colleagues too from the European Women’s Lobby, ECPAT (Austria), Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) International Federation of Business and Professional Women.  One event entitled ‘The many aspects of trafficking – Health aspects, trafficking of human organs and trafficking in human beings for the purpose of organ removal, sex exploitation’ was co sponsored by Zonta and Soroptimist International was moderated by His Excellency Per Anders Sunesson of Sweden.

 

 

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP)2016 Report 2016 published on June 30th

2016_Report_Cover_200_1On June 30, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2016  (TIP) Trafficking in Persons Report.  The TIP report is prepared by the US State Department and published annually.  It is a comprehensive report providing information on anti-trafficking efforts throughout the world. The report is divided in two parts – pages 1 -66 an overview, topics of special interest, some definitions and methodology.  Part two present the country narratives. The report provides country-specific narratives for 188 countries and territories including the United States. These narratives illustrate the scope of human trafficking and each government’s efforts to combat what is commonly referred to as modern slavery.  Each countries receives a ranking called Tier. There are 4 Tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2; Tier 2 Watch List and Tier 3.  See pages 55 and 56 for a definition of the various tiers and see to see where your country is ranked.  (Pages 66 – 410)  Out of the 188 countries analyzed in the 2016 report, 36 countries were placed on Tier 1; 78 countries on Tier 2; 44 were placed on the Tier 2 Watch List; and 27 countries were placed on Tier 3. In all, there were 27 downgrades and 20 upgrades of countries as compared to last year.                            The TIP Report in full

2016TIP-300x169Part one of the report can be accessed here          It is a combination of text, pictures and other graphics.    This year the report is more balanced with regard to human trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for labour.  The report takes account of gender inequality and references prostitution in a number of places where women and girls are trafficked into prostitution.  See the box inserts on page 5, 8, 10, 12,14 etc. Child Labour features throughout the report e.g. page 16 references Burkina Faso, and girls are mentioned many times in the report.  See page 11 “Young girls are exploited in forced labour around the world.  Peruvian girls are forced to make bricks in the hot sun; in Pakistan debt bondage traps girls in carpet-making factories; in Ethiopia, girls from rural areas are exploited in domestic servitude; and traffickers in Malawi force girls to labour in the agricultural sector.”  Read what a convicted sex trafficker said on page 16.

Good news the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Sri Lanka became parties to The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Person, Especially Women and Children, supplement the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime between April 2015 and March 2016.  See page 19 where the countries that are not State Parties to the Protocol are listed.

Among the examples of partnerships is the Santa Marta Group, ‘a partnership between international police chiefs and Catholic bishops from around the world, working together with civil society to end modern slavery through a process endorsed by Pope Francis.’ The other examples are from Uruguay and Guatemala.

Secretary of State John Kerry noted that ‘modern slavery is connected to a host of 21st century challenges – from environmental sustainability to advancing the lives of women and girls to combating transactional organized crime.  Wherever we find poverty and lack of opportunity – wherever the rule of law is weak and where corruption is most ingrained, where minorities are abused, and where populations can’t count on the protection of governments – we find not just vulnerability to trafficking but zones of impunity where traffickers can prey on their victims.”

This leads me to the United Nations and reference to the  adoption of the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “to guide the global community’s effort to eradicate poverty, promote peace and equality, and protect the environment.  Anti-trafficking elements are integrated into three of the goals …  5.2; 8.7 and 16.2   While paragraph 27 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is not cited “We will eradicate forced la and human trafficking and end child labour in all its forms” the TIP report this year is largely focusing  on this.  Do check out Alliance 8.7 an Initiative of ILO Working together to end child and modern slavery

On page 43 mention is made of the fact that The United Nations Security Council addressed for the first time the issue of human trafficking on December 16, 2015  when Nadia Murid Basee Taha, a Yezidi survivor of human trafficking gave her testimony to the Security Council.  Nadia had been trafficked by ISIS.

A very positive strategy by President Obama has been the setting up a U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking in December 2015.  There are 11 members and each is a survivor of human trafficking.  It is a formal platform to advise and make recommendations on federal anti-trafficking policies.  It is a two-year term – see page 41.

The content of part 1 has subdivisions – Page 7 – 19  Meeting the Global Challenge: Effective Strategies to Prevent Human Trafficking  Do read about raising awareness on page 12 and Policies and Programs to Reduce Risk and Empower Vulnerable Individuals page 15.  A second subdivision entitled Topics of Special Interests begins on pages 20 highlighting the challenges in protecting vulnerable populations who experience multiple and cumulative hardships, discriminations and social marginalization. Refugees and migrants are extremely vulnerable given that ‘one in every 113 people globally is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee – putting them at a level of risk for which UNHCR knows no precedent.’ UNHCR, Global trends.  The situation in Syria and Lebanon is outline on page 21 highlighting trafficking of women and girls for sex trafficking and migrants fleeing crisis are often trapped in sex and labour trafficking by their smugglers.  “Women, unaccompanied minors, and those denied asylum are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, including while in transit and upon arrival in destination countries.” page 21

Sometimes there is a price to be paid for advocacy and this is noted in this years report on page 29 and the 2016 TIP Report Heroes are found on pages 48 -52  coming from The Bahamas, Botswana, Cyprus, Nepal, Mauritania, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal and Hungary.  Pages 57 -62 are a series of regional maps showing Tier Placements.

A Human Right-Life Course Five Point Framework Addressing Human Trafficking proposed by Sisters of Mercy and Congregation of Our lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd based on the work of Dr Angela Reed RSM, Ph.D. and Marietta Latonio in a book titled ‘I Have a Voice – Trafficked women in their own words’.

  1. Privileges the insights gained from narratives shared by those who have been trafficked.  –  The U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking is an example of this.
  2. Recognizes that the interplay between the personal life story and systemic oppression renders one vulnerable to human trafficking. –  See challenges in protecting vulnerable populations  page 20. Demand for commercial sex  ‘purchasers of commercial sex’ – (page 12) and ‘reduce the demand for commercial sex ‘(page 15) is a systemic issue together with patriarchy, power, the subjugation of girls and women, gender based violence and the stubborn persistence of a system of prostitution and poverty all fuel human trafficking.
  3. Acknowledges cumulative disadvantage and addresses vulnerabilities across the life cycle. This begins with birth registration, legal registration, citizenship and nationality page, 14,15 and  46  education, health care, decent work and a living wage,  and universal social protection floors.
  4. Prioritizes and uses qualitative data on actual experiences and circumstances of trafficking for policy formulation  – the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking exemplifies this.  Could this be extended to all countries?
  5. Addresses the systemic causes of economic, social,  gender disparity and discriminations.  ‘Poverty does not justify human trafficking’ Page 7  ‘When inequality exists and where certain people lack access to social protection and justice, human traffickers are able to thrive. Page 8  Eradicating poverty, promoting peace and equality  and gender equality are some of the systemic issues that The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development committed to address.

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Color your neighborhood orange November 25 to December 10, 2014 – End Violence Against Women!

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year, and runs from 25 November, (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women), to 10 December (Human Rights Day).

In 2013, the UNiTE campaign launched a global call for action to “Orange the World in 16 Days.” UN entities, civil society organizations and individuals across the world led an array of creative and highly visible events in over 50 countries, which drew attention to the issue and created opportunities for discussion around current initiatives and solutions. The initiative aimed to create the symbolic image of a world free from violence against women and girls. The colour orange was a uniting theme which ran through all events as one of the official colours of the UNiTE campaign, and as a bright and optimistic colour, representative of a world free from violence

Unite to end Violence