2022 Assembly



Introduction to summary of Order of Malta Symposium ‘’How to better fight, together, the sexual trafficking of women in West Africa and to support their rehabilitation, ’’ held Tuesday, October 8, 2019 Ordre de Malte France Paris, France.

As an actor mobilized on the ground and strongly committed to preserving human dignity, the Sovereign Order of Malta wishes to intensify its action to prevent and fight trafficking in human beings. 

Aimed to strengthen synergies, partnerships and alliances between the various regional and international agencies and organizations, local non-governmental organizations and civil society, including local faith-based organizations, the Sovereign Order of Malta, through its two anti-trafficking ambassadors in Geneva (Michel Veuthey) and Lagos, Nigeria (Romain de Villeneuve), organized this symposium to discuss the issue of the sexual exploitation of young women in West Africa, particularly Nigerian women victims of trafficking. 

This conference had two specific objectives: 

1). Strengthen relations between the different actors involved in the fight against trafficking;

2). Continue to elaborate and implement solutions identified with the help of experts.

Methodologies throughout the Symposium comprised presentations, discussions, Q & A session and Round table discussions, which were conducive to rich sharing and great learning.

Mr Romain de Villeneuve, Ambassador of the Order of Malta in charge of the problem of trafficking in human beings in Africa introduced the Symposium and Round tables were moderated by Mrs Geneviève Colas, Coordinator of the Collective “ Ensemble contre la traite des êtres humains ” (“Together against human trafficking”) in France, for the Secours Catholique (Caritas France).

The summary document covers the following:

-Testimony of Miss Dore Ayiri Tessy, Trafficking survivor, taken care of by the Bakhita Shelter in Lagos, Nigeria.

– Key elements on the problem of trafficking in Edo State in Nigeria and the means implemented to address it (Nigerian representative of Edo State currently being confirmed).

– A positive example of cooperation between France and Nigeria: Prevention and Study Ms. Aurélie Jeannerod, Project Manager Trafficking in Human Beings –  Advocacy, ECPAT- France.

– The fight against trafficking networks and the obligations of legislators, investigators and judicial authorities Mr Nicolas Le Coz, Former Chairman of the Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

-Identification and protection in Belgium: an example of collaboration between magistrates, police officers and civil society  Mr Charles-Eric Clesse, King’s Prosecutor, Professor at the Free University of Brussels (ULB)

– Assessing of the victim protection mechanisms by the French Authorities Mrs Elisabeth Moiron-Braud, Secretary-General of the Inter-ministerial Mission for the Protection of Women against Violence and the Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings (MIPROF)..

– Victim care in France: the challenges of escaping the trafficking network  Mrs. Vanessa Simoni, Friends of the Women’s Bus.

– Sheltering trafficking victims in France  Ms. Federica Marengo, Coordinator of the National System for the Reception and Protection of Victims of Trafficking – AcSé.

-Presentation of a shelter for victims in Switzerland  Anne-Marie von Arx-Vernon, Psychologist and expert in fighting human trafficking and violence against women.

– Reception and protection of victims upon their return to Nigeria  Sister Patricia – Bakhita Home  Mr. Luke de Pulford – Arise Foundation.

– The challenges of reintegrating victims into society  Ms. Céline Huard, Psychologist at the AFJ Home in Paris  Ms. Diana Nwakanma, Rehabilitation consultant for victims returning to Nigeria.