2022 Assembly


The Religious & Migration in the 21st Century: Extra Documents


Further to the post on the website about the Conference: The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century, the organisers have kindly shared with us the formal documents associated with the Conference. Comprising both Word documents and Powerpoint presentations, there is a wealth of information and inspiration to be found in them.
Read and enjoy!
Rome Eng Overview PP Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma_EN
Rome Eng PP Migrants&Media in Italy
Rome Eng Summary feedback THE RELIGIOUS AND MIGRATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY Summary and reflection
Rome French Summary Feedback Religieux et migration au 21ème siècle, French
Rome Italian Migrants and Media in Italy Immigrati reali e mediali
Rome Italian Rapporteur Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma rapporteur
Rome Italian Summary feedback I religiosi e la migrazione nel XXI secolo, Italian
Rome PP Eng The Advocacy Strategy Mon, Feb 22 – 24 Roma_EN
Rome UN English statement post 2015 development agenda
Rome UN French statement post 2015 development agenda
Rome Welcome Address – Religious & Migrants Conference (Feb 2016)
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Pastoral Care of Women & Girls Working or Living on the Streets at CSW in NYC


Amongst the CSW 60 events at the UN (13th – 24th March, 2016), Lynda Dearlove, RSM, (RENATE member) presented at the CSW 60 this past week (21st March) and it has been televised on UN WebTv, as follows:
CSW 16 UN NYC Lynda Dearlove presents on The Care of Women and Girls on the Street
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Report from a Conference: The Religious & Migration in the 21st Century


The phenomenon of the 21st Century is the movement of peoples, whether by choice or otherwise. It is an extraordinary humanitarian emergency, where we are confronted with extraordinary challenges in trying to look for an adequate response. If we accept that migration is the ‘new normal’, then as Religious, we must ask ourselves: what is the Spirit asking us to do?
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person attended the Conference entitled The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century: Perspectives, Response and Challenges, held in Casa Generalizia dei Passionisti, Rome from the 22nd – 24th February, 2016 and shares some insights from the Conference.
Report from The Conference_The Religious and Migration in the 21st Century_February 2016
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking


Details of an Early Legal Intervention Project (ELI) informed a Conference entitled “Upholding Rights! Early Legal Intervention for Victims of Human Trafficking”, held in Dublin, Ireland on the 14th of January last. Numerous European Directives and international human rights instruments have sought to hold member states accountable for the introduction of national legislative and policy frameworks.
The concept of ELI incorporates the provision of confidential legal counsel and advocacy at first encounter between victims and authorities to ensure immediate protection and legal representation with a view to achieving the best outcome for the victims of trafficking.
For more, please see: Report on attendance at ICI Conference_Upholding Rights_14.01.2016
Report prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Report from the Sixth EU Civil Society Platform Meeting in Brussels


9th EU Anti-Trafficking Day Conference, 20 October 2015


EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Persons, 21 October 2015

9th EU Anti-Trafficking Day Conference, 20 October 2015

High Level Conference Marking the 9thEU Anti-Trafficking Day, 18 October

Organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of European Union, the conference took place in Brussels on the 20th of October, 2015. The Mary Ward Loreto Foundation was invited to attend as an active participant of the EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings (THB).
The theme, “Time for concrete actions: Implementing the Legal and Policy Framework on Trafficking in Human beings” and  aim of the conference was to develop a policy for the implementation of the EU legal framework and policies addressing trafficking in Human Beings. The Conference marks the EU Anti-Trafficking Day, instituted on 18th of October, 2007 with a view to highlighting the EU common commitment to eradicating trafficking in human persons.
Two important components of the Conference were:
– Introductory Remarks by the Chair, Opening Statements & Keynote Address
– High Level Panel, Interactive Discussion.
Introductory Remarks by the Chair, Opening Statements and Keynote Address
Ms. Myria Vassilidou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, European Commission,   introduced1 the meeting and welcomed the 200+ participants, the representatives of the EU Parliament, the EU Commissioners, Ministers, Europol, Eurojust and Civil Society. She explained that the main priorities common to the European Union and the European Commission are: “Following the money and reducing demand for trafficking in Human Beings in all forms of exploitation”.
These important issues will be the subject of the two interactive discussions of the honourable panellists listed in the Appendix.  After the introduction Ms. Vassilidou concluded by saying that: “States are strong, and they can protect and defend themselves, but individuals, especially those exploited, are not as strong and it is our duty to protect them.”
(…) Full text available at the end of this post.

The EU Civil Society Platform against Trafficking in Human Beings

This event was organized on the 21st of October, 2015, comprising three parallel workshops. The NGO representatives were divided into three groups to discuss a special topic, after which they presented and shared their thoughts on the issue to the collective audience.
Workshop 1. Children as high risk group of trafficking
The members of this group focused mainly on unaccompanied children as well as on the child refugee crisis. The group shared their concerns for the fake ‘adoption’ of children and for children involved in forced labour and domestic servitude. Another concern highlighted by this group was the recruitment of children in armed conflicts and child trafficking for exploitation in forced criminal activities.
Worksop 2. Emerging Concerns
The second group focused on the current Syrian refugee crisis, which is leading to an increased risk of people being exploited and trafficked. They recommended a greater awareness about this issue and called on more people to become involved in preventing exploitation at a national level, when the refugees are being assisted in transitory or residential camps.
Also another emerging concern raised by this group was the sham of forced marriages which leads to different forms of exploitation, especially in domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.
Workshop 3. Prevention of trafficking in Human Beings
The third group focused on demand, reduction and prevention initiatives. The MWL Youth Manager was a member of this group and made a presentation at the group session.
They [who?] The group commenced by reflecting upon Article 18.48 of the EU Directive: “Preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims.” This article criminalises the use of services by each citizen who knows that the person who offers the services is a victim of trafficking. In this context ‘’following the buyers’’ was thought as a prevention initiative which would lead to identifying the victims. While the conviction of buyers can reduce demand, it is very difficult to prove that the buyer is aware that he/she is purchasing services from a victim of trafficking. It was felt that the key to success is to work locally in order to change the mentality of our governments and our judiciary and then start lobbying at a European level.
Another suggested action regarding prevention was to ensure that there is a legal requirement for businesses to state publicly their policy against Trafficking in Human Beings and show that their supply chain is free from exploitation.
At the end of the group session, it was decided to discuss the topics relating to each form of exploitation and to identify concrete ideas to be implemented to prevent trafficking. The group was subdivided into smaller groups who will continue to work on it by means of the e-Platform.
Outcomes of the Event   
It was both a good opportunity and experience to attend these very important meetings. It has been a meaningful exchange on best practices. It was so positive to participate and contribute to meetings where the highest institutions of the EU commit to eradicating trafficking in human beings.
Ten contacts were established and more than thirty MWL leaflets were distributed in the Market Place.

Prepared by Gazmir Memaj, Project Manager, Mary Ward Loreto Youth

Full text available here: Report from the Sixth Meeting of the EU Civil Society Platform Against Trafficking in Human Beings, October 2015

Challenges in Fighting Human Trafficking, Relation from Lithuania


Ms Natalja Kurcinskaja, Director of The Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre in Vilnius, Lithuania, along with Ms Justina Šerėnaitė and fellow staff members, attended the Conference on “Challenges in fighting Human Trafficking”, 17th September, 2015.
Amongst the delegates were police officers, public prosecutors, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior and of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, NGOs and representatives of local administrative institutions, all of whom considered the specific challenges faced in fighting Human Trafficking in Lithuania.
Human Trafficking in its various guises was explored, for example, minors being trafficked in order to steal and minors being trafficked in order to feature in fighting shows.
Delegates learned of the almost impregnable international infrastructure which surrounds and protects traffickers, thus making it more difficult to apprehend the perpetrators.
Considerable time was given to considering the victims of human trafficking and the extent of their traumas. The traumas can be so intense for victims that they are reluctant to make court appearances in pursuit of their traffickers. In many instances, victims are too frightened to testify or when they do and it comes to a final date for a court appearance, they change their testimonies.
The main purpose of the Conference was to maximise the potential of existing legislation to assist the organisations working to prevent human trafficking.  It was agreed that victims do not get the essential supports required because of a lack of co-ordination amongst the national institutions and NGOs.

From 23rd – 25th September, another Conference on human trafficking was held at the United States Embassy in Lithuania, again attended by representatives of the Police force, office of the Public Prosecutor, Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, NGOs and local administrative institutions.
US Federal Court Judge, Virginia Kendall, gave the keynote address, drawing from her many years of experience in working to prevent human trafficking.
Clearly there is a concerted effort being made in Lithuania, to combat and prevent human trafficking and the exploitation of persons and it is believed that collaboration and communication amongst all concerned, is key to the success into the future.
Much more information about the Missing Persons’ Families Support Centre at
Adapted and compiled by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person