Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking
On Friday the 24th of July, over 300 members of the IBVM/CJ community, from sisters, students, teachers and staff, joined together on Zoom from every continent in acknowledgement of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, which is held on the 30th of July.
The fight against human trafficking, especially trafficking of women and girls, remains a core priority of the mission of the IBVM/CJ global community, including in schools, within the ministry and at the United Nations NGO Office.
Led from the JPIC Rome office by Sr Adina Bala cj and Sr Pauline Macharia ibvm, the webinar welcomed speakers within our community from all over the world to share their experiences and perspectives on this year’s theme: “Committed to the Cause – Working on the Frontline to End Human Trafficking”
We first heard from Mrs Kamlesh Rai, a teacher at St Teresa’s High School in Darjeeling. Mrs Rai shared an inspiring story of two young students from St Teresa’s who, in 2017, received a national bravery award for their help in exposing a trafficking ‘ring’.
We heard from Sr Imelda Poole ibvm, who is the president of RENATE, a Europe-based anti-human trafficking network. Imelda shared her perspective on the key factors driving human trafficking, which included poverty, individualism and technology.
Sr Nancy Clare ibvm, was our next speaker, sharing her perspective on how religious men and women are working together in Africa to combat human trafficking, through the Talitha Kum Africa network.
We also heard from the IBVM and CJ United Nations NGO representatives, Sr Janet Palafox ibvm and Cynthia Mathew cj. Cynthia shared with us the role of the SDGs in ending human trafficking, whilst Janet described the current efforts and actions being taken at a global level through UN processes.
Adina and Pauline closed the webinar by speaking of Laudato Si’ and its references to human trafficking. At the conclusion of the webinar, Pauline asked the participants to reflect on “what would Mary Ward have done?”.
COVID-19 brings with it many, many challenges, including new tests for our responsibilities in preventing human trafficking and supporting victims, and in advocating and acting for a more just world and society. However, our network is large and diverse, and this webinar only helped to reinforce the power and passion of a network like ours.
There’s no doubt that in uncertain times like these, Mary Ward would have done exactly what the 300 participants on the webinar did too. Sharing knowledge, perspective and drive with others to continue to fight for a more just and peaceful world where people are not for sale.
For more information and resources please see this link.