2022 Assembly


Crossed perspectives 70 years after the universal declaration of human rights.



Yesterday afternoon, 10 September 2018, RENATE member Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS, attended a Conference organized by the Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the Council of Europe.
This event was to mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Room 9 was full of priests and CINGO representatives… with a few women too!
In due course, we will have a copy of the speakers ‘talks.
It was most interesting to see the discrepancy between the theory and practice, presented by the speakers (Juridical and Political efforts to promote the universality of Human Rights) and questions from the audience. It was also interesting to note the lack of power afforded Regional legislation, regarding Human Rights, populism or the fact that the EU have yet to ratify the Declaration.
Notwithstanding the above, what I loved as a RENATE Representative was to meet with many known or unknown people after the event: Mgr. Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, Alessandra Aula (BICE) and other people of interest for RENATE to be best known in the Council of Europe.
Link to follow in due course.
Prepared by Marie Hélène Halligon, OLCGS.

Kevin Hyland, OBE and Maya, a survivor of Human Trafficking, present at MECPATHS + APT joint presentation on Human Trafficking, at World Meeting of Families.


L to R: Clare Nolan, OLCGS. Mary Ryan, RSM. Kevin Hyland, OBE. J.P O'Sullivan, MECPATHS. Mairin McDonough, APT Ireland Chairperson.
L to R: Clare Nolan, OLCGS. Mary Ryan, RSM. Kevin Hyland, OBE. J.P O’Sullivan, MECPATHS. Mairin McDonough, APT Ireland Chairperson.

”Human Trafficking: An Open Wound on the Body of Contemporary Society” was the keynote address by Kevin Hyland, OBE, former UK anti-slavery commissioner, at a presentation held jointly by MECPATHS and APT Ireland – with RENATE members, at Panel 5 discussions in Hall 7, at the World Meeting of Families on Thursday morning, 23rd August 2018.
In his address, Kevin provided an overview of how human trafficking pervades contemporary society and global and family responses required for healing.
By means of a series of PowerPoint slides, Kevin shared the understanding of what exactly human trafficking entails and how it manifests itself in various guises worldwide. He spoke about the following aspects: Women and children forced into prostitution, begging and drug-running; Factory slaves; the role society plays in contributing to slavery within the fashion industry; human slavery and exploitation within the car-wash sector.
With the increased incidences of world conflicts and the ensuing displacement of persons, we are seeing an increase in human trafficking. Kevin shared the statistical data currently available, citing 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide- 22.5 million refugees worldwide; 10 million stateless people and 55% of refugees worldwide emanating from three countries- South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria.
Kevin’s focus on our daily interactions which can often unwittingly contribute to human trafficking such as our use of car-washes; nail-bars; the need for cheap-clothing and even our ever-increasing demand for mobile phones. It was the latter which evoked emotive responses as we heard about the abuse of children as young as seven years old, trafficked and exploited in the cobalt mines
While money is the clear driver, the solution to prevention and ending human trafficking lies with society itself, specifically through community engagement, sustainable development and criminal justice/capacity building mechanisms.
In this regard, Kevin shared about the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and their capacity to impact on prevention and ending human trafficking. In particular, Goal 8.7 ” …Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers and by 2025, end child labour in all its forms.”
Kevin’s presentation was followed by Maya, a young lady who is a survivor of human trafficking in the UK. All present were deeply touched by Maya’s sharing her personal story, which will stay with all of us and encourage us to make even greater efforts to bring an end to what Pope Francis calls ”…an open wound on the body of contemporary society.” (NCR, 10 April, 2014).

Prepared by Anne Kelleher,  RENATE Communications.

RENATE members of APT Ireland (Act To Prevent Trafficking), host a Human Trafficking Awareness stand at the World Meeting of Families Congress, 22 – 25 August 2018


Encouraged by Pope Francis’ exhortation to bring an end to human trafficking and by his encouragement to young people to overcome fear and learn the warning signs of trafficking (CNA/EWTN News, Vatican City, 12 Feb. 2018 ) Members of APT/AMRI staffed stands 152 and 153 at the RDS throughout the Congress and delighted in the opportunity to meet with so many people, from both the national and international contexts.
The Congress provided a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about Human Trafficking in all its guises and whilst we enjoyed the engagement with others, an abiding memory from the time at stand 152, was the extent to which so many people claimed to be totally unaware of human trafficking and unaware of the fact that human trafficking exists in ”our own backyard,” as opposed to occurring elsewhere but not in our own country….
In addition to conversations and real engagement, visitor to the stand were invited to help themselves to literature, information fliers and support gifts containing logos of APT and its partners, donated by Blue Blindfold (
Without a doubt, we have reached a much wider, international audience as a result of our daily presence at the Congress and already we are receiving correspondence from those whom we met, requesting membership of APT or looking to make donations or inviting us as guest speakers at schools, parishes and local communities.
Whilst it was a productive and most enriching time, we are truly grateful for the possibilities of reducing the risks of human trafficking of young people, by virtue of the awareness-raising opportunities afforded us at the World Meeting of Families.
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person.

RENATE colleagues in Malta send us news of the following one-day conference they are involved in organising, with an open invitation to all to join them on 28 September next. * Please be advised that if attending, travel and accommodation arrangements are at your own expense and responsibility.


Combating Human Trafficking Today – Taking stock of evidence-based research and sharing experiences from Europe.
Aim: Human trafficking leaves no land untouched and is also happening around us. This conference seeks to provide answers to some of the most difficult questions relating to the trafficking of children and adults for commercial sexual exploitation.   The conference seeks to answer some of the pending difficult questions:
What are the links between trafficking and prostitution?
– What do we know about sexually exploited women in Malta? Who are they? What led to their exploitation?
– Can the criminalising of the sex buyer reduce human trafficking?  – The Swedish Experience.
– In the context of existing legal models – What model should Malta adopt?
Date:  Friday, 28th September 2018
Venue – Lecture Theatre 2 (LT2) – University of Malta – Msida Campus.
Time:  09.00 – 13.30hrs
Organisers:  Dr Anna Borg (A4E) and Dr Anna Vella (Dar Hosea) in collaboration with the Centre for Labour Studies (CLS) – University of Malta
To secure your place please send a cheque for €25 , payable to A4E, c/o Centre for Labour Studies, Room 209, FEMA Building, University of Malta, Msida no later than 19th September.– Part of the proceeds will go to Dar Hosea and A4E.
Malta Conference 28 September 2018 

RENATE members share events in honour of the 30 July 2018- World Day of awareness against Trafficking in Persons.


UN GiftBox campaign under way in Albania, to raise awareness about Human Trafficking, in honour of the 30 July, the world Day of Awareness against Trafficking in Persons.


On the World Day of Awareness against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2018, the URAT network together with the office of the National coordinator for Combatting Human Trafficking  and Bridges, a network of organisations dedicated to the fight against trafficking in human beings, brought the UN Giftbox to Albania, for the 3rd year running. The UN Giftbox is a global initiative of the United Nations in the fight against human trafficking.
The campaign took place at Lancua, in Vlora, with the participation of Minister Rovena Voda, National Co-ordinator of the fight against trafficking. Also present were Mr. Artemis Dralo, Deputy Prime Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, as well as representatives of the Bridges network, local anti-trafficking institutions and national and international organisations.
The Giftbox information was translated into Albanian language by the Bridges network in Albania, in order to expose fraudulent promises used by traffickers of human beings, as well as exposing the inhumane conditions of trafficking and its consequences. A unique and eye-catching feature of the campaign is the life-sized Giftbox itself, which effectively captures and informs the public.
The overall purpose of the campaign is to sensitize people to the risks of trafficking; help vulnerable communities to protect themselves from traffickers and help survivors of trafficking receive the necessary and re-integrated information in society.

The Giftbox campaign ran for three days in Vlora, from 30 July to 1 August from 18:00-23:00 daily. On the second day of the Campaign,  two victims of human trafficking were rescued thanks to the direct work of #vatra and 873 people signed the statement #thuajjotrafikimit#Joinedaproach#Bashkemundemi #unitedresponseagainsttrafficking
Overall, this year’s campaign was another fantastic success, thanks to the collaboration and happy cooperation amongst each of the agencies who work so hard together to achieving the common goal of combatting human trafficking and exploitation. 
More information at:


The Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking- Albania.


To mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2018,  Mary Ward Loreto Women’s Project which operates in Lezha city, Albania, in collaboration with State Regional Directory staff of Social Services joined together in an awareness-raising activity against Trafficking in Persons.
During this campaign, information was shared about this phenomenon, with parents, children and the Roma community where the exploitation of children is the biggest concern.
This is a crime of such international proportions that no one person alone can combat it. From our work, we realise that the best and most effective approach will be through collaboration, where police forces, state structures and civil society all work together.
Together we can fight and stop Human Trafficking.
#MaryWardLoreto #BlueHeartCampaign #StopHumanTrafficking#AwarenessRaising


Awareness-raising initiative by MWL Youth group, Albania.


Mary Ward Loreto Albania Youth group organised a Human Trafficking awareness-raising campaign in Lushnja city, to mark the occasion of the 30 July 2018- World day of Awareness against Trafficking in Persons.
It was a most productive time, when young people shared information on human trafficking and also distributed leaflets amongst the ,local community, about Human Trafficking.
More at:


Launch of Cross-border research to find ways to improve child protection against human traffickers.

On the occasion of the World Day of Awareness against  Trafficking in Human Beings, 30 July 2018,  RENATE members at CHARITA Slovakia send us news from Caritas Europa Associations and the Mediterranean region (near East and West Africa) announcing the launch of a cross-border research project aimed at finding ways to improve child protection against traffickers.
This international research brings together Caritas members in nine countries (Albania, Bosnia, France, Jordan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Slovenia, Slovakia and Ukraine) within two regional organizations: Caritas MONA (Caritas Network in the Middle East and West Africa) and Caritas Europa. 
Research results should provide tools and techniques for better identification, prevention and a more effective fight against trafficking in human beings. At the same time, it is intended that the research will promote awareness of this illegal activity in risk groups, law enforcement agencies and the general public.
‘’Over the past ten years, the Slovak Catholic Charity has helped more than a hundred victims of trafficking in human beings. The project provides comprehensive services: social, psychological, legal advice and assistance in the ordinary life of clients. Our main goal is to re-incorporate a person into society,’’ said Jana Verdura, the voluntary return coordinator of the STOP human trafficking project.
More at: 


RENATE Board member, Margaret Gonzi, olcgs, Malta, shares with us news of the Good Shepherd Congregation’s Human Trafficking awareness-raising talks to the congregations attending Mass at the local chapel on both the 29 and 30 July. Margaret drew upon her work with victims of violence and human trafficking, to talk about the suffering and trauma experienced by victims and yet how through constant support and vigilance, they can become survivors with hopes and plans to live fulfilled lives. 
An additional event took place on Friday, 27 July, with the screening of the film ‘’Priceless,’’ shown at the Franciscan Cinema at the Emmaus centre, Birkirkara. Following the screening, Margaret’s colleague and co-worker at the Dar Merhba Bik Foundation, Bernardette Briffa, also a RENATE member, was invited to share her knowledge and experiences of working with victims of human trafficking. It was a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about Human Trafficking and encourage people’s engagement with efforts to bring an end to this crime against humanity.
The Dar Merhba Bik Foundation works to support women and girls who are victims of violence and trafficking. More information about the Foundation at:  and also at:


Fields of BOAZ and vulnerable asylum seekers in Ile-de-France- 2018.


In 2003 in France, 23 religious congregations came together to create The Fields of Boaz to help the most vulnerable refugees in France: single women who arrive alone, fleeing a country because of danger. 
Often they do not speak French, have sold most of their assets to pay the traffickers who bring them to Europe and only know a few immigrants from their countries of origin, many of whom are not always eager to help.
It is now 15 years since its foundation and the need for support continues to be as urgent as ever. Twenty residents – Muslim, Buddhist or Christian – are currently housed in apartments provided by individuals or by Catholic communities in Paris or its suburbs …  “Protection from the risk of prostitution or of life on the street, we advocate a full reception of these women…. ”  explains sister Eliane Loiseau.
For more:

Adapted by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications. More news of events on 30 July will feature in the coming weeks.

Useful resources from Talitha Kum for 30 July events, 2018.


World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July
The International Network of Consecrated Life of Talitha Kum has been engaged for nine
years in prevention and awareness-raising activities, protection and assistance of
trafficked persons, and prosecution of trafficking offenders.
We invite you to download the posters…

Towards the 10th Anniversary of Talitha Kum
Click here to watch the Webinar (in English only)
The PPT Presentation showed by Sr. Gabriella Bottani during the webinar
is also available here

World Day against trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2018. ‘Responding to the trafficking of children and young people’


This year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has chosen ‘responding to the trafficking of children and young people’ as the focus of the World Day.
This year’s campaign highlights the fact that almost a third of trafficking victims are children. The theme draws attention to the issues faced by trafficked children and to possible action initiatives linked to safeguarding and ensuring justice for child victims.
To mark the day, RENATE members internationally on 25 July, logged on to the live launch of the publication ‘’Inherent Dignity: An Advocacy Guide to Preventing Trafficking for the Purposes of Sexual Exploitation and Realising the Human Rights of Women and Girls Throughout their Lives,” co-authored by Angela Reed, rsm.
The launch took place at the UN, with Chris Cervenak, International Lawyer and Human Rights Activist as Moderator and the following panellists- Angela Reed, Co-author of the publication; Jane Connor, Assistant Secretary General, Victims’ Rights Advocate for the United Nations; Winifred Doherty, olcgs, NGO Representative to the UN, Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd.
Full recording available at:
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.

Strategic Nonviolent Action – a course held in Belgrade by ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy, 7 – 8 June, 2018.


A two-days course on ‘Strategic Nonviolent Action’ was organised by the ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy and offered to non-governmental organisations from Eastern and Central Europe. The course took place in Belgrade, Serbia, 7-8 June, 2018. It was led by Srđa Popović, Siniša Šikman and Sandra Kačavendić from CANVAS. RENATE member, Aneta Grabowska, took part in this course on behalf of PoMOC Association from Poland.
Please click the link below to read the full report: Strategic Nonviolent Action – a course held in Belgrade by ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy, 7 – 8 June, 2018.

Combating Hate Speech online and offline – a workshop held in Vienna by ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy, 25-26 June, 2018.



A two-day workshop on ‘Combating Hate Speech online and offline’ was organised by the ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy and offered to non-governmental organisations from Eastern and Central Europe. The workshop took place in Vienna, Austria, 25-26 June, 2018. It was led by Barbara Unterlerchner & Dieter Gremel from ZARA (Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit, Eng.: Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work). RENATE member, Aneta Grabowska, took part in this workshop on behalf of PoMOC Association from Poland.
Workshop description
This workshop used interactive methods to teach media literacy considering the following:

  • How do I best react to attacks and aggression on the net as a person as well as an organisation?
  • How can I actively combat hate speech?
  • How can I support victims of online hate speech?
  • Where and how can I find help as a victim?
  • How do I report hate speech on Facebook, YouTube & Co.?

Its aim was to develop effective responses and creative counterstrategies in dealing with discriminatory and racist slogans, try out different lines of argumentation and thus expand personal communication competences in the event of verbal conflicts, aggressive rhetoric and hate speech online and offline. Participants had a chance to gain media literacy and knowledge of digital media and online hate. They could gain an insight into the psychology of prejudices and discrimination mechanisms, analyze reasons for aggressive behaviours and hone their counterstrategies and communication skills.

Barbara Unterlerchner manages the newly created Austrian counselling service against online hate #GegenHassimNetz,  She is a lawyer, a trainer and a criminologist. From 2010-2017 she worked at the White Ring in Vienna as head of the department of victim support and victim rights. She has professional experience in the field of asylum law, in counseling and monitoring of victims of domestic violence, and she participated in several national and European projects on the subject of trafficking in human beings, violence in the family and the support of crime victims.
Dieter Gremel is a psychologist, trainer and organizational consultant focused on experiential learning (IOA®) and systemic perspectives and a psychotherapist (Systemic Family Therapist) i.A.u.S. (la:sf). He is a founding Member of NHBE – network for experiential learning, consulting and development and associate partner at His main fields of consulting and training are: Diversity Management, Teambuilding and Group Dynamics, Participation Process and Decision-Making Processes, Self-Development.
The time of the training in Vienna was well spent and enriching for the 17 participants from 9 European countries including: Albania, Austria, Bosnia&Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Serbia. They learned about ZARA and its mission to give legal counselling to victims of discriminatory behaviour & racism. The name ZARA is a German acronym for ‘’Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus-Arbeit”, which means ‘’Civil Courage and Anti-Racism Work” in English. The organisation was founded in Vienna in 1999 and is a nationwide ngo. There are three pillars of ZARA’s activities: counselling, prevention and public relations. ZARA defines civil courage as follows: ‘’civil courage starts with the perception of wrongs and the feeling of responsibility and results in the need to act, i.e.: in having the courage to actively stand up for someone who is wronged. This may mean the risk of being exposed to disadvantages oneself and of having to run counter to societal and public regulations or tendencies.” More about ZARA at:
Training participants were taken through different stages of interactive exercises which led them step by step to gain an understanding of different goals and strategies to argue. They had a possibility to learn about their own assertiveness by completing a self-assessment questionnaire. A very valuable experience was ‘building the wall of terror’ to which everybody could contribute by adding hate slogans / stereotypes which she / he experienced or is aware these exist in her / his country. This made the basis for further exercises in groups of three, where rotating roles of an offender, defender and an observer were played. All were advised to follow their moral compass.
Compliments to all the trainers! Thank you to the organisers for making the workshop happen!
Aneta Grabowska.
(Workshop Description comes from the official information from the organisers)
Keywords/Tags:  hate speech, hate, offline, online, civil courage, Vienna, Austria, ZARA, Barbara Unterlerchner, Dieter Gremel, ERSTE Foundation, NGO Academy, PoMOC Association, workshop, course, training

Laudato Si’ Conference, ‘’Saving our Common Home and The Future of Life on Earth’’- Vatican City, 5-6 July, 2018.


‘’The cry of the earth is intimately connected to the cry of the poor.’’ Pope Francis.
Increases in the numbers of people displaced worldwide due to poverty, strife, war, harsh economic downturns and the impacts of climate change, render the most vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation, as well as facing situations critical to life and death . Such concerns informed the conference participants attending a Conference at the Vatican City, organised by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, led by Cardinal Peter Turkson to celebrate the third anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si.’
The international conference was designed ‘’to follow the ‘see-judge-act’ trajectory of the encyclical’’ and to ‘’engage persons and groups who can develop the Laudato Si’ message.’’
Conference participants acknowledged the sense of urgency and the need for renewed efforts to engage in further exploration, understanding, reflection and action to address ‘the possible collapse of the planet.’ Cardinal Parolin emphasised that ‘’To take care of our common home, to save our common home, is one of the most urgent issues of our time,’’ Cardinal Parolin, at the Laudato Si’ Conference, 2018.
In this regard, Denise Boyle, fmdm, (who facilitated the RENATE Assembly in Rome, November 2016), Team Leader Mercy Global Action and Adele Howard, rsc, shared the work of the Mercy International Association in promoting reflection and action on the themes of Laudato Si.’ Specifically by means of the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP), as recorded in the MIRP Handbook, which calls upon all in the Mercy networks worldwide, to ecological conversion and to work for ‘’…the radical change which present circumstances require’’ (Laudato Si.,’ 171).
For further information on the Mercy International Reflection Process, please contact Denise Boyle, fmdm, at the Mercy International Centre, 64 Baggot Street Lower, Dublin, Ireland.
Full report at:
Pope Francis address to the conference delegates is available at: