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RSCs Fight Trafficking

In July, the Religious Sisters of Charity hosted their second international anti-trafficking meeting in Howth, Ireland, for sisters and lay colleagues from provinces and regions all over the world. The sunshine and the lovely scenery helped them work hard, as they reviewed the human trafficking situation in their areas and assessed the strategies/ best practices in working against them. Among the participants were UNANIMA board members Sisters Suzette Clark (left) and Pat Kenny (center), and Kayula Lesa RSC.

It was clear from the start that experiences differed from country to country – from the ‘hands on’ work in Nigeria where sisters worked directly with trafficked women, to the reality of witchcraft in Ireland and how it ties into various forms of human exploitation (see the Cois Tine website below).

They visited the Immigrant Council of Ireland (established by an RSC sister to reform immigration legislation) which has played a role in the present government’s commitment to criminalizing the purchase of sex. They heard first hand from a Nigerian woman who had been trafficked into the country and helped by the staff of ICI.  Their next stop was to RUHAMA, a Dublin-based NGO, where women affected by prostitution or trafficked into the country for the sex trade benefit from a holistic approach to healing, safety and integration.

They resolved to continue networking, collaborating, and strategizing to end human trafficking; and to implement a robust communication strategy to ensure that the situation of trafficked persons reaches the widest possible audience.  Some websites of interest are:   www.coistine.iewww.palermoprotocol.com ;   www.imigrantcouncil.ie ; and  www.ruhama.ie.

–Contributed by Pat Kenny, RSC