2022 Assembly


Join the UN 16 Days Campaign Against Gender-Based Violence


The United Nations 16 days of activism begins on 25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends of 10th December – Human Rights Day.

The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run from 25 November to 10 December 2021, is “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. November 25th also marks the anniversary of the brutal assassination of Patricia, Maria and Minerva Reyes, three activists in the Dominican Republic in 1960.

Human trafficking, a $150 billion global industry, is one of the greatest examples of violence against women and girls. As well, millions of women and girls are forced to marry or to work in terrible conditions for little pay and no chance of an education.

Pope Francis reminds us:

“It is not possible to remain indifferent
before the knowledge that human beings
are bought and sold like goods!”


For an overview of the 16 Days Activism concept:


RENATE members at Community House DAMARIS, mark the EU anti-human trafficking day by holding a Walk for Freedom.


RENATE members and Representatives from Community House DAMARIS participated in a silent walk for the millions of victims of human trafficking.

The “Walk for Freedom’’ challenge was coordinated by A21 and took place in downtown Athens, on the occasion of the European Day against Human Trafficking.

Walk For Freedom: Μια σιωπηλή πορεία για τα εκατομμύρια θύματα εμπορίας ανθρώπων. To Κοινοτικό Σπίτι Δάμαρις περπάτησε και φέτος για την Ελευθερία, στην καθιερωμένη πορεία που διοργανώθηκε από το Α21 σήμερα στην Αθήνα, με αφορμή την Πανευρωπαϊκή Ημέρα κατά της Εμπορίας Ανθρώπων.

For more information:

“UN Gift Box” on display in Rreshen, Albania, 19 & 20 October 2021.


The “UN Gift Box” campaign was officially launched on 19 October in Rrëshen-Albania, as an activity organized by the URAT Network, as an awareness-raising initiative in Albania where the entire month of October is designated to anti-Human Trafficking.


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Representatives of the institutions in the municipality and county level, and the Catholic church, joined the opening event and conveyed their message to the public to combat human trafficking together.

The GiftBox activity aims to raise awareness and inform the community about trafficking in human beings. It also helps people to identify preventive methods of this phenomenon.
25 volunteers, a youth group from the high schools, who are trained for the campaign, are involved and contributing to the awareness raising.
In Rreshen, the UN Gift Box is open and available for the public on two days, 19 and 20 of October.

Everyone can save a victim from this crime against humanity!


RENATE Festival of Films raises awareness about Human Trafficking and exploitation


Source: Independent Catholic News 

Author: Jo Siedlecka

A festival of films dedicated to human trafficking took place on Sunday at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Organised by RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) the day Included an exhibition of art by victims of trafficking, and the announcement of the winners in a short-film competition – with a viewing of their works.

Loreto Sister Imelda Poole MBE, director of RENATE came from Albania to open the festival. She said it aimed to provide a platform for survivors of human trafficking by highlighting their stories and showcasing the work of Religious across Europe who assist victims and lobby for tougher legislation to end the practice.

Dr Jon Hackett, head of the Department of Communications, Media and Marketing and Professor of Film and Communications at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, compered the day and Dr Carol Murphy, Director of St Mary’s Bakhita Centre for Research on Slavery, Exploitation and Abuse also commented on the films

Nine films made by RENATE members and friends were shown at the RSA in three viewing areas, followed by discussions. Sr Imelda Poole moderated discussion in one area after the screening of ‘L’invisibles’ about street children in France, produced largely by Secours Catholique – Caritas France, and the documentary ‘Sisters Act’ about the work of RENATE in Albania. Viewers’ questions ranged from the role of drugs and alcohol, the issue of patriarchy the live-streaming of children as young as two-years-old to sexual predators. There were concerns about increasing drug trafficking and gang culture in Britain and calls for systemic change since human vulnerability is worsened by economic hardship and environmental problems.

‘Ivan’ from Slovakia, highlighting the heartbreaking true story of a man tricked into forced labour in slave-like conditions, was followed by ‘Two little girls’, an animated short film highlighting the broken dreams of two young women sold into prostitution after moving overseas for work. Brigidine Sister Patricia Mulhall, who has worked with trafficked people for more than 15 years, locally and internationally, led a discussion on these. She felt the ‘demand’ side of trafficking should be investigated more and asked why it is that the victims are more like to face being criminalised than their abusers.

Sr Marie Power of TRAC (Trafficking Awareness-Raising and Campaigning), moderated discussion in another room, looking at films including, ‘They’re children not slaves’ focusing on Albania. She said that her organisation, formed by 16 religious congregations in the UK, works with RENATE, “to give victims a forum to tell their stories”.

Presentations were made to winners of the Europe-wide RENATE short-film competition for young people. First prize went to Elliott Engberg, a student at the Warsaw Film School. His movie ‘Traffic’ , showing the commodification of human life, was uncomfortable viewing but strikingly powerful. Speaking from Poland by zoom he said: “this is a topic I care about and I wanted to force the audience to view a the scene of a young woman being abducted and sold to the highest bidder online – probably on there dark web. This happens every day.”

Second place for ‘Humans – Not for Sale’ went to A level students from London, Joel Black and Shadman Jabir. They used a hand-held camera to film ‘victims’ trying to escape, highlighting their vulnerability and disorientation. The third place winner was young animator Emily Downe. Her highly original film ‘Plain Sight’, based on drawings she made while walking around Soho, showed how victims of modern slavery are there in our city streets in broad daylight – and we need to be more conscious of their presence.

There were calls for the UK’s Modern Slavery Act of 2015 to be better enforced. And it was felt that the international Anti-Slavery Day on 18 October is a key opportunity to highlight human trafficking and its causes, using some of the festival’s 12 films to raise awareness.

All the films are available on the RENATE Events website:

For other media coverage of the film festival, see Ellen Teague’s article on The Tablet

60 Days Left to COP26 in Glasgow: 31 October – 12 November 2021


2021 is a historic year for global climate action at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. This is the year we either lose momentum towards these critical goals, or it is the year we actually start implementing what we set out to do in 2015. It is our biggest opportunity to increase global climate ambition in COVID-19 recovery and kick-start a decade of action as we also inch towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As rich countries continue to emit greenhouse gases at their highest-ever concentration levels, extreme weather is decimating more and more parts of the world which in turn sees increased displacement of people. In search of better lives and possibilities, such people are vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation as they 

Time is running out for millions of people who are already losing their lives, their homes and their livelihoods to climate change. These people have contributed least to the global climate emergency, yet they are being hit the hardest

Around the world, leaders and activists are already doing their parts. To learn more about them and to be inspired to take action, together with hearing the voices of those already deeply affected by climate change,  log onto the following:

World day Against Trafficking in Persons – ‘’Victims Voices Lead the Way.’’


The World Day against Trafficking in Persons was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution A/RES/68/192.

Such International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

Each year has seen specific themes identified, with this year’s theme being ‘’Victims’ Voices Lead the Way.’’
This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the 30 July World Day against Trafficking in Persons campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. The campaign portrays survivors as key actors in the fight against human trafficking and focusses on the crucial role they play in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identify and rescue victims and support them on their road to rehabilitation.

Many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support.

Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.

Together with Talitha Kum members across the world, the RENATE network participates in this year’s Social media campaign #CareAgainstTrafficking, creating a series of visuals which convey the work of Religious sisters in the mission to care against trafficking.

Follow us on all the social media platforms:

FaceBook: @renateurope
Instagram: renate_europe



Report from RENATE member Jana Urbanova, CARITAS Slovakia.


“You are not for sale!” is the slogan of CARITAS Slovakia’s new campaign. In Slovakia, Caritas plays an important role in the fight against human trafficking, by means of helping victims and also by organising prevention and education activities. In the Not for Sale campaign, the organisation wants to appeal to young women and girls in particular and to warn them of the dangers that are more real than we think.
Since 2008, when Caritas started implementing its victim-assistance programme, it has helped more than 120 victims of human trafficking under the Programme for the Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings which is financed by the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic. It gradually expanded the initial victim-care project to include assisted voluntary return services and the operation of a free National Helpline for Victims of Trafficking 0800 800 818. In this new campaign, Caritas warns against sexual exploitation which is the second most common form of trafficking registered in Slovakia in the past year, and it is the most common form of exploitation in the EU.

The abuse of girls and women is still a big problem

“Your worth lies not just in your body, but first and foremost in who you are. You are as precious as a diamond. Therefore, do not allow anyone to treat you like a commodity, ” the actress Petra Polnišová says in one of the three videos.
In addition to the participation of this popular actress, the rapper EGO, already known from a previous CARITAS Slovakia campaign against forced labor, is part of this current campaign and, in a third short video, a former Caritas client who herself experienced the nightmare of sexual exploitation abroad authentically talks about her experience.
The risk of modern-day slavery generally threatens the poorer regions of southern and eastern Slovakia, where there is a shortage of jobs, and, in the form of sexual exploitation, it mainly affects Roma women and girls. Victims are often lured by perpetrators who pretend to have a romantic relationship with them, or approach them with an offer of a promising job and a vision of a better life. After being transported abroad or away from home within Slovakia, their personal documents are confiscated and are forced to engage in prostitution through psychological and physical abuse. Alarmingly, almost half of the identified victims of sexual exploitation in Slovakia in the last year were children.

Victims of trafficking due to poverty

The Not for Sale campaign builds on a previous series of videos from the 2019 campaign called Don’t Become a Slave/Do Not Get Enslaved. The aim of both campaigns is to reach out to young people in their own language and to inform them about the risks that they can easily overlook due to socio-economic conditions in an effort to “improve” their lives.
Jana Urbanová, who is the prevention coordinator of the STOP Human Trafficking project believes “on the one hand, it is the greed and egoism of the traffickers who see others as a means of enrichment. On the other hand, it is also extreme poverty that leads vulnerable groups to accept a dubious job offer or believe in beautiful promises of a better future. Here we come across the acute problem of marginalized Roma communities, which has still not been addressed effectively enough. In addition, the problem also affects children, who are all the more vulnerable in these inadequate conditions.‘‘
According to Jana, there is a great need to raise the awareness of social workers and other representatives of the state infrastructure, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations, in order to be able to identify potential victims and intervene adequately. When the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, CARITAS wants to organise in-person meetings and workshops with field social and community workers together with members of Roma communities. The project employees did the same during the 2019 campaign, when more than 350 people attended these meetings. “We have received a positive feedback from the field and we believe that this time we can also reach out to young people who may be preparing for work abroad in the summer and encourage them to be careful,” concludes Jana.

Feast Day 8 February 2019: International Day of Prayer and Awareness against human trafficking. “TOGETHER against human trafficking”.


On February 8, 2019 let’s turn on a light against the trafficking of persons, to celebrate the 5th edition of the International Day of Prayer and Awareness against human trafficking that this year will have as its theme: “TOGETHER against human trafficking”.

The first edition of the IDPT was celebrated on February 8, 2015, by the will of Pope Francis, who in 2014 entrusted the International Union of Superiors and Superiors General (UISG / USG) with promoting this day.
In these years, gathering in prayer has facilitated collaborating and overcoming the boundaries within which we operate, dedicated to our projects that, although very important, could lead us to cut ourselves off from the others. The great tragedy of trafficking urges us to overcome every barrier to join forces and collaborate for the common good.
On February 12th 2018, Pope Francis received a group of young people and representatives of the organizations sponsoring the International Day of Prayer. On this occasion he donated a very beautiful prayer that can be downloaded, into many different languages, from TALITHA KUM Website. Urged by the questions of the young participants, Pope Francis recalled how important it is to tackle the root causes of trafficking and wished “that all of you can send a message to leaders at every level of governments, business and society, to demand access to quality education and, consequently, fair and sustainable employment.”
This requires us to coordinate our actions and unite our strengths. “Together against human trafficking” is the invitation addressed to everyone, each according to their own possibilities.


Feast Day 8 February 

St Josephine Bakhita, also known as ‘Mother Moretta’ (our Black Mother) bore 144 physical scars throughout her life which were received after she was kidnapped at the age of nine and sold into slavery.

Born c. 1869 in Olgossa, Darfur, Sudan
Died 8 February 1947, Italy
Year of beatification 1992 (17 May)
Year of canonisation 2000 (1 October)

Such was the trauma experienced that she forgot her birth name and her kidnappers gave her the name Bakhita meaning ‘fortunate’. Flogging and maltreatment were part of her daily life. She experienced the moral and physical humiliations associated with slavery. It was only in 1882 that her suffering was alleviated after she was bought for the Italian Consul. This event was to transform her life. In this family and, subsequently in a second Italian home, she received from her masters, kindness, respect, peace and joy. Josephine came to discover love in a profound way even though at first she was unable to name its source. A change in her owner’s circumstances meant that she was entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. It was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom, ‘she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was’ since she was a child. She was received into the Catholic Church in 1890, joining the sisters and making final profession in 1896. The next fifty years of her life were spent witnessing to God’s love through cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door. When she was on door duty, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who attended the nearby school and caress them. Her voice was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering. She was a source of encouragement. Her constant smile won people’s hearts, as did her humility and simplicity. As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness, but she continued to persevere in hope, constantly choosing the good. When visited and asked how she was, she’d respond: ‘As the Master desires’. During her last days she relived the painful days of her slavery and more than once begged: ‘Please, loosen the chains… they are heavy!’. Surrounded by the sisters, she died on 8 February 1947.

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