Youth Symposium in Rome on Prostitution and Human Trafficking.

The title of the 2 day symposium to be held on November 15 and 16 is ‘young people against prostitution and human trafficking: the greatest violence against human beings’  This Symposium is taking place in the Vatican and being hosted by Pope Francis.   I am very happy to let you know that Good Shepherd have two youth attending the Symposium – one from Malaysia and one from Taiwan.  Here is the link to the 34 page booklet.   Pages 3 and 4 presents the context in which the Symposium is taking place. Pages 7,8,9 and 10 outline the program for the two days.  Pages 11 to 22 provides the bios of the various speakers and 23 to the end are names of the observers

On page 11 you are introduced to Mary Anne Balthazar from Sabah, Malaysia and on page 17 you will learn about Joseph Loh from Taiwan.  It is certainly a tribute to the work of Good Shepherd in both Malaysia and Taiwan that Anne and Joseph have been selected as presenters.

Ann Marie       Joseph


Congratulations Anne and Joseph.  Be assured that we are all praying for you and cheering for you too!  Anne will present on at 11.30 on November 16th ‘Youth for Youth Against Human Trafficking – The Sabah Saga’ and Joseph will presented at 18.00 hours ‘Prevention of Human Trafficking in Taiwan.’

The topics are very broad and cover multiple aspects of human trafficking.   In reviewing the list of presenters I wish you to note that Good Shepherd are present in Ireland, (Ruth Kilcullen);  Kenya (Winnie Mutevu);  Spain, (Alejandra Scelles Torres);  Albania (Olivia Conroy);  Cambodia have two presentation ( Pisey Khim and Phirum Sary); and  Bolivia (Ana Paola Garcia Villagomez).

Marie Helene Halligon who attended the conference on Human Trafficking in November 2013 has been active in RENATE Europe and has encouraged youth to attend.  I am encouraging  two young people from Europe:  Andrea, who, I think represents her Hungarian NGO “ergo”. I was in contact with “ergo” during my staying in Hungary last September.  And Constance, who is a volunteer with Caritas Europe GS is part of in the “Collectif_contre_la_Traite”.   These two young women know GS only because of my contact as GS with their network.

AndreaAndrea Klemencsics    Age: 24   Profession: juriste (lawyer)     Petite présentation: Je suis diplômée de l’Université Catholique Péter Pàzmàny. J’ai écrit mon mémoire de l’esclavage moderne. En 2012 en cadre de programme Erasmus, j’ai étudié l’Université Catolique de Lille. A l’Université j’ai commencé un recherche avec mes professeurs français et hongrois. En 2012, j’ ai passé 6 mois à Lille, j’ai fait le stage chez Mouvement du NID. (prostitution, traite des êtres humains) Actuellement, je poursuis mes études doctorales à l’Université Catholique Péter Pàzmàny. Parallèlement, je suis membre de l’Association d’ERGO et de l’Association d’Ars Boni. (la revue juridique qui est éditée par les jeunes juristes)   Actuellement, je suis à Paris et je fais un stage à Fondation Robert Schuman en cadre de bourse.

Constance MAZARD, born in Montauban, France, on January 28, 1986 (28 years old).   Volunteer at Secours Catholique – CMCaritas France, is active in the struggle against human trafficking.    During her studies of law and political sciences, she used to take part in several activities with the catholic church. These activities included spending a month at an orphanage in India, taking care of children with sever physical and mental problems, taking care of the elderly in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and spending a year in a Vietnamese catholic monastery teaching English to the Monks.
Through those experiences, she has learned a lot about human rights and the terrible situation of those living of the most impoverished conditions.   She was then involved in the struggle against human trafficking with the Collective « Together against the human trafficking » which gathers 23 charity organizations in France, coordinated by the Secours Catholique.     Website   (english and french)

We congratulate youth on all their accomplishments in this area.

‘It Does Exist – Human Trafficking’

A group of students from the University of New England School of Social Work who are committed to exposing and educating the public of the hidden injustice of human trafficking prepared this site –  Alethia Coles, Jessica Wicki, Nicole Dowden and Katherine Lamourt. Jessica has been a Good Shepherd Volunter in New York. This site is created and dedicated to aid in alleviating human trafficking by way of education and public awareness. You can watch the video by clicking on this link: The professional page featuring Direct Care and Research and Awareness comes from the direct experience and work of two dedicated ‘Good Shepherd Personnel’  Theresa Symons from Malaysia and Helene Hayse, New York.  See the video, read the sections, like it and use it for educational and awareness raising activities.
Congratualtions to you Jessica and your colleagues … Well done!

Interactive Dialogue on ‘Fighting Human Trafficking’ at the UN on April 3. 2012

View the webcast – it’s the same as being present at the debate:  Post your comments below.  What question are you left with?  What questions would you want to ask? 

 Opening session of Interactive Dialogue on “Fighting Human Trafficking: Partnership and Innovation to End Violence against Women and Children” – General Assembly
03 April 2012

(Part 2) Interactive Dialogue on “Fighting Human Trafficking: Partnership and Innovation to End Violence against Women and Children” 03 April 2012 

In the afternoon the following member states spoke – Qatar, Bahrain, Australia, Malta, Bangladesh, Georgia, Cambodia, USA, Japan, Thailand, Luxemburg, Vietnam, Tanzania, Albania, Nicaragua, Malaysia, Mexico, Kurdistan and Argentina. 

The President of the General Assembly H.E. Mr Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nassir and his wife contributed 10,000 dollars from their personal funds to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking while  Australia announced that they would contributed 200,000 dollars. 

The address of Michelle Bachelet is on the UN Women Website in three languages

English:                   Spanish:         French:

Madam Bachelet emphasised four points:  

  • Put human rights and justice for victims at the centre of efforts
  • Place more focus on prevention, gender equality and women’s empowrnment, and zero tolerance for violence against women, including trafficking.
  • Make the links between migration and trafficking. 
  • Support trafficking suvivors to be at the policy table so that they can testify and claim their rights and entitlements, and policy makers can listen and learn what needs to be done.

List to survivors tell their stories – Somaly Mam, President and Co-founder, Somaly Mam Foundation.  Somaly was born in Cambodia and sold into a life of sexual slatery many times by a man who posed to be her grandfather.  Rani Kong, Co-Founder, Tronie foundtion was also present. 

The UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children  Dr Joy Ngozi Ezeilo also address participants.

Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT wrote

Dear Friends:  We are pleased to share with you this new brochure by ECPAT-USA.  Our  Protect Children in Tourism Project (PCT) has just completed a successful program in Mexico and Belize to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism.  This brochure is specifically about the project’s achievements in Mexico, especially the community efforts that have been sparked and will carry on after the end of the PCT Project.   It is a fine model for other communities to embrace to prevent child sex tourism. Here’s the link:

Working Group on Trafficked Children (WGTC)

The Working Group on Trafficked Children is a relatively new group made up of a number of No’s interested in following this issue.  The next meeting is on August 11, 2009 in New York.  Good Shepherd is a member of this group.  If you are interested in becoming involved it is a good time to start because the group is defining it vision statement and drafting its strategic plan.  The organizational statement of the Working Group on Trafficked Children reads “concerned about the rapid increase in the trafficking of children, the NGO Working Group on Trafficked Children works for the formation of effective international and national policies, to end child trafficking.  We place particular emphasis on the special vulnerability of the girl child.”  To be effective we need your collaboration –  your expertise, your views and opinions. You can do this by replying on the comment line just below this post. 

Vision Statement

The ultimate goal of the Working Group on Trafficking in Children is to help end child trafficking. We aim to ensure that children are made visible in international counter-trafficking efforts at the United Nations.

Strategic Plan for 2009 to 2011

1.  Education and resource development              

a)  Educate and inform WGTC members:    i.  Develop vision statement and strategic plan.   ii.  Maintain and contribute to AirSet database.    iii  Monthly meetings,  including speakers.    iv.  Attend child trafficking events at the UN and in the NYC area.

b) Educate the public:       i.  Prepare fact sheets on child trafficking issues.   ii.  Develop community education programs.  iii.  Host UN side events.         iv. Create a resource bank – websites, films, books, tool kits on the issue of child trafficking.

2.  Networking            

a) Build and maintain contact with children’s advocacy groups, such as ECPAT:  (End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes):    i.  Members attend meeting of other groups.   ii.  Members share WGTC agenda with networks

b) Share successful advocacy efforts and best practices:      i.  Forward position papers to organization representatives.   ii Gather examples of successful advocacy on the ground.

c) Collaborate in hosting side events and other events. 

d) Exchange speakers.

3.  Advocacy           

a) Advocate for language that reflects the reality of the dignity of the human person.

b) Develop position papers:    i.  Defining “decent work” .  ii. Legalization vs abolitionist (prostitution).  iii Cruelty-free and free trade products.

c) Influence UN delegation positions on child trafficking:    i. Create list of friendly missions.   ii. Collaborate with missions who are leading on the issue of child trafficking.   iii.  Distribute position papers to UN missions.

d) Develop a relationship with UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime):   i. Set up initial meeting to discuss WGTC involvement.   ii Distribute position papers to UNODC.