2022 Assembly


Africa’s new Slave Trade on the edge of the desert in Niger.



 One of Agadez’s ‘Connection Houses,’ where middlemen put migrants in touch with people smugglers. Photograph: IOM.
One of Agadez’s ‘Connection Houses,’ where middlemen put migrants in touch with people smugglers. Photograph: IOM.

Networking, sharing resources, skills and knowledge is essential if we are to respond in light of Gospel values to the increasing numbers of migrants fleeing poverty and trying to come to Europe, with dreams and hopes of a better life.
Heretofore we have read of the tragic loss of life on the Mediterranean, as unseaworthy vessels capsize and sink, and ensuing drowning of countless thousands. Last week, both The Observer and The Guardian newspapers featured articles on the harsh realities befalling migrants as they struggle to get to the north African coast and cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
Criminal gangs prey on the migrants, charging extortionate prices for transit across the desert, only to trade the migrants to the highest bidder at markets and trading centres, historically known for centuries-old slave-trading thought to have been long-since dead.
Torture, beatings, rape and abuse are frequently meted out to those who are detained at camps as they await boats to ferry them across the Mediterranean. For those fortunate to survive, intense trauma therapies and all forms of healthcare are necessary for their long, personal journey of healing and survival.
RENATE members met many such survivors when they visited shelters with Sr. Valeria Gandini, in Palermo last January and throughout RENATE member countries, supports are ongoing, to those who sadly fall victim to human trafficking and exploitation once they eventually arrive in Europe.  (Please see January 2017 archives).
To help us respond to the needs of those traumatised by trafficking and exploitation, Human Trafficking and Trauma, will be a theme of the 2018 RENATE training programme, details of which will be available at a later stage. 
For more information on the slave trade on the edge of the desert in Niger, please see:
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.