2022 Assembly


An unequal battle against Human Trafficking Reflection by Sr. Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS.



Author Marie Hélène Halligon, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity the Good Shepherd.
Author Marie Hélène Halligon, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity the Good Shepherd.

In November 2017, a CNN reporter brought to light the sale of African migrants in Libya. Such an escalation of the trafficking and exploitation of human beings, has surpassed all previous levels of depravity.
In the following article, RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, olcgs, writes about the ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking, not only from the imperative to release those who have fallen victim to traffickers, but from the primacy of restoring and maintaining the dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God.
Marie Hélène expands on the theme of an unequal battle against Human Trafficking, by considering the meaning of the following Rights, which every human being is entitled to:
The right to a decent life- a battle against the roots of evil;
The right to freedom and safety- a battle against indifference;
The right to recognition- a battle against denial.
The right to international freedom- a battle of worldwide dimensions.
A political battle- to bring these rights to the attention of decision-makers.
The rights of all victims- a long-term battle.
The right to be considered a human being.
The right to education- a battle for the respect of freedom of expression.
The right to call on God- a spiritual battle.
Full article at:
Translated by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Human Trafficking awareness-raising initiative – APT Ireland.



Raising awareness about Human Trafficking is a priority for RENATE members at APT Ireland (Act to Prevent Trafficking), who are pleased to announce the staging of the internationally acclaimed DIABLO , a hard-hitting play about Human Trafficking and how it occurs in ‘’plain sight.’’
The play has a small cast of 5 actors and is written by Patricia Downey, Artistic Director for Belfast based Spanner in the Works Theatre Company, which is funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
The play will be performed at the C Venues Edinburgh Fringe Festival on 1-13 August, 2018, followed by a performance in Munich, Germany on 19 September (venue to be advised). DIABLO will be performed in Ireland on both 25 and 26 September- venues to be advised.
Speaking about the play’s challenging subject matter, playwright Patricia Downey commented: “Human trafficking is a fast growing criminal enterprise due to the fact it is relatively low risk but with a high profit potential. Sadly, criminal organisations are increasingly attracted to human trafficking because, unlike drugs, humans can be sold repeatedly. Diablo deals with the contentious matter of human trafficking that may go unnoticed right here in Northern Ireland. We might not be aware of it or like to acknowledge it, but this form of human exploitation is happening right here on our doorstep and I hope this play serves to increase awareness and, in turn, save lives.’’
Please see for updates on confirmed venues.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Training on Trafficking in human beings and modern slavery, in Youth Centre, Kuçovë, Albania.



On the 21st of June last, as part of its continued commitment to ensure awareness-raising and prevention of human trafficking, Mary Ward Loreto Albania conducted an Anti-Trafficking training seminar at the Kuçova Youth Centre. The 26 young people who participated in this training were informed about the phenomenon of trafficking and modern slavery.
There was a lot of animated interaction during the training and it was encouraging to see how interested the young people were in the topic as they enthusiastically engaged in the exercises.
At the end of a very positive seminar, the students invited the team to visit again and to give more training in the future. Such openness to learning and to being empowered to protect oneself, illustrates the positive impact and value of awareness training and personal interaction with youth, who are most vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation.
More at:   and also on Facebook:


The last 10 years of Human Trafficking.


Courtesy Borgen
Courtesy Borgen

The global issue of human trafficking can leave people feeling defeated. The numbers may seem heavy, but knowledge of them may lead to an increase in awareness rather than an increase in crime. In 2008, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) described knowledge of human trafficking as the footsteps of a monster, comparing a lack of information to an unknown beast. Without such information, only guesses can be made as to the scope of the problem or what can be done. After looking over the last 10 years of human trafficking research, the world is finally starting to understand the shape of this monster and how to fight it.
More at:
Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Council of Europe: Young students working on Trafficking of Human Beings with GRETA.



On 18 October 2017, several classes from an Alsatian college participated in an event organized by the Council of Europe to raise awareness about the fight against trafficking and exploitation.
During the academic year, they worked with other to discover more about the existence of Human Trafficking and its different forms. On 19 June 2018, these students presented the fruit of their work to the Secretary of GRETA and its assistants, as well as the Associations that were present during the sensitization (SOS-Caritas France, NDC of the Good Shepherd, Association Themis …). Each small team of 2 or 3 students explained the work involved and the results -displays, 3D realization, filmed interviews and even animated film, which you can quickly see in the video above. 
Des jeunes au Conseil de l’Europe.

We then watched the official presentation of the Council of Europe, after which the students toured the building and passed through the hemicycle, which is always impressive! There followed a question and answer session with the Associations and distribution of “awards” to all participants.
We obviously congratulated the young people and their teachers, who committed themselves and also enlisted other disciplines in this work. We also invited them to be “contagious” and to share with their friends what they have learned, to be ambassadors capable of allowing other young people to see clearly and not be seduced by unhealthy speeches.
We would like to reach more people and with Petya Nestorova (Executive Secretary of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings) have noted the difficulty of mobilizing on the subject of the Treaty, to which an attitude of denial is common.
Our work is a long struggle but we are sure of the support of all people of good will who, with us, want to put an end to this scourge!
“… to think about the market for women, the trafficking, the exploitation that we see, and also the market that we do not see, the one that is done and not seen …”
Pope Francis, Homily in St Marthe 15/06/2018
Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS

RENATE member and Human Trafficking Awareness-raising opportunities at the Granada Festival of the South and also at Togo.


RENATE member Maria Luis Puglisi and her colleagues took the opportunity at the Granada festival of the south, which is celebrated from 3 to 10 June, by presenting a day-long  exhibition to raise awareness about Human Trafficking and Exploitation.
They set up an information stand and met with countless of people over the week, thereby heightening awareness about the realities of violence towards women as well as sharing information about their work against human trafficking.
Maria Luisa and her colleagues also presented the exhibition of their work in Togo, where they also screened a documentary film about Human Trafficking ‘’Trata di Evitarla.’’
It was a good opportunity to bring home the reality of being actively engaged as a citizen.
More at Fundación de Solidaridad Amaranta
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Child Trafficking for Labour in the Congo Cobalt mines.


The Good Shepherd International Foundation produced the film ‘Maisha: A New Life Outside the Mines’ documenting the living conditions of the artisanal mining community in Kolwezi and the impact that this community development project is having.
The film is currently available online and was shown at more than 10 film festivals and screenings throughout the world. It was awarded numerous honours, including Best Documentary Short Film at the 12th Human Rights Film Festival of Barcelona and  Best Ethnographic Film at the Vaasa Festival 2016.
Every day should be considered a Children’s Rights Day.

Imelda Poole, IBVM, RENATE President, awarded MBE in recognition of her outstanding service in combatting human trafficking and modern slavery.


Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE
Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE

On Saturday 9 June 2018,  Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE, was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Honours list 2018, for her achievements and services to end Modern Slavery.
On the announcement of the award, the British Ambassador to the Holy See, Ms. Sally Axworthy, said: ‘’I am delighted to learn that Sr. Imelda Poole has been awarded this honour be Her Majesty the Queen. It is well-deserved recognition of Sr. Imelda’s outstanding service in combatting human trafficking and modern slavery, through the European Religious sisters’ anti-trafficking network RENATE which she leads, and through Talith Kum, the Religious sisters’ worldwide anti-trafficking network. Sister Imelda is a key ally in Her Majesty’s government’s campaign to eradicate modern slavery. It is wonderful to see such a distinguished friend of this Embassy honoured in this way.’’
On learning of her award, Sister Imelda said:’’ This is an honour which I accept on behalf of the Female Religious and co-workers who are contributing, through the mission of many international networks such as RENATE, to combating modern day slavery and on behalf of the dedicated staff of Mary Ward Loreto in Albania who are passionate in this same cause. May this award expose even further the terrible crime of human trafficking which, as Pope Francis has declared, is a crime against humanity itself.’’
Read more about SR. Imelda Poole in the case study written by HM Ambassador Sally Axworthy: to mark International Women’s Day 2017.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Stop Trafficking!


The June 2018 issue of Stop Trafficking! (Vol. 16, No. 06) is available at the following link: To access, click on the ‘photo’ of the first page or click the ‘current issue’ link. 
This issue highlights the trauma suffered by victims of sexual exploitation and the issues involved in their treatment and healing.
Congratulations and sincere thanks to Jean Schafer, for doing all the research behind such valuable content.
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

March of Survivors – “Le Nid” Movement, Strasbourg – May/June 2018. Report from Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS.


The wonderful initiative March of Survivors, was organized by Le Nid Movement, on the occasion of this special commemorative year: slavery has been abolished 170 years ago! It is always an event which stirs ones emotions at the deepest level.
Before this March of Survivors took place, an Exhibition, « L’Envol » (meaning when several birds are taking flight together) was organized in collaboration with « Imagora. » The exhibition lasted several weeks, shown on the walls of the Department Hall in Strasbourg, where we attended the Conference given by Grégoire Théry (CAP International) on Monday, 4 June, to celebrate their fantastic effort.
Our Good Shepherd community was able to support the event at its beginning… and throughout!
On the 25 May, we waited in front of the Bas-Rhin Department Hall for the official start of this march. Friends, walkers and representatives of the authorities were present before the hour to welcome the brave: 10 steps, 300 kilometers to “make visible these invisible women” and raise awareness about every stage of prostitution and human trafficking.
With the help of Facebook, we accompanied them on the journey as you can see on the poster, but we could not feel the fatigue, the solidarity, the good atmosphere, the resources, the search for places to sleep (at hostels, at Sisters’ convents …) the effort to leave together each morning, the walkers or the young people met and sharing. A walk that “healed” one of the survivors from the desert walk she had taken to Libya, without shoes, water or food, in a hostile environment and with sometimes hostile companions …
Grégoire Théry painted the picture of the aberrations of a legislation that fights against the Trafficking in Human Beings, but does not include prostitution, through practical “arrangements” to continue to satisfy the demand for sexual services. Several countries – including France – have abolitionist legislation, but are slow to implement.
Rozen and her friends are considering a European march, and why not name it ‘’World Survivors’’…more to follow!
Please find below the article in French language:
La marche des survivantes – Mouvement du Nid, Strasbourg – Mai/juin 2018