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2022 Assembly

 

Publication of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

 

Publication of the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery
Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021
(published today 18 October 2019).

Dame Sara Thornton was appointed as the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner by the Secretary of State following consultation with the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland. She took up post at the beginning of May 2019 and her appointment is for three years.

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has today published her Strategic Plan for 2019 – 2021. The Strategic Plan has been laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State (Home Secretary) in accordance with the Modern Slavery Act (2015).

The Strategic Plan outlines the objectives and priorities for the period 2019 – 2021 and identifies matters on which the Commissioner proposes to report.

There are four priorities:

  • Improving victim care and support
  • Supporting law enforcement and prosecutions
  • Focusing on prevention
  • Getting value from research and innovation

Read the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner’s Strategic Plan 2019 – 2021

Put an End to Modern Slavery, Reflection from 18th October Campaign in Poland

 

Letter of Support from the First Lady of Poland
Letter of Support from the First Lady of Poland

Sunday 18th October was the day of a Campaign against Human Trafficking*, initiated and organised mainly by the Bakhita Network** in conjunction with the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the Alliance of Mercy Community and people from various other communities.
Several weeks before the event, Sr. Joanna Lipowska FMM together with Paulina Spratek and Justyna Chłodny (the Alliance of Mercy Community) decided to put into words what had been stirring in their hearts for so long: a desire to express their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking, too often voiceless and forgotten. Their goal was to make others aware of the problem and encourage people to go out into the streets and become a voice crying out for dignity and respect of those who are enslaved. All those who decided to join in the campaign – individuals as well as communities – in different towns and cities of Poland, received a booklet containing a set of suggestions, ideas, rules and information to give guidance when organising a similar event.
In Warsaw, the FMM sisters found support and great understanding amongst the Alliance of Mercy Community members. The suggestion to join in with the European Day against Human Trafficking was welcomed with enthusiasm and seen as a mission of sharing mercy with the most needy. Some of those who volunteered felt confident to be part of the street mime, others distributed materials and shared information. There were workshops organised to familiarise the volunteers with the problem of human trafficking and to instruct them on offering possible help to the victims. The whole process required a lot of preparation. Often people attended after a tiring day of work or studies: some for rehearsals, others to learn the art of communicating effectively about prevention; how to handle possible reactions to the problem and source information on where to get help for the victims.
Street Pantomime in Warsaw, 18th October 2015
Street Pantomime in Warsaw, 18th October 2015

The long awaited Sunday came eventually. Despite the weather forecast, the day was not bright and sunny. The Old City of Warsaw looked sad and dull as rain drizzled down. Yet nobody seemed discouraged: instead, we saw it as a sign from the Lord – sadness, fear, cold and tears are often the reality of those suffering as contemporary slaves. So even the weather helped us to feel solidarity with the victims, to sense their world through feeling cold and longing for a ray of sunshine.
At 3 p.m., praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we entrusted our campaign to the Merciful God. Strengthened with His power, we took to the streets of Warsaw.
(…)
Read more: Reflection on 18th October 2015 Campaign in Poland

Ending Modern Slavery: Everyone Has a Role and Everyone Can Help Prevention

 

18.10.2015 in AlbaniaOn the European Day Against Human Trafficking, October 18th, activities took place with the MWL Women’s groups, in Tropoja, Hot i Ri, Kallmet, Fier, and Shendelli. Men joined the activities as well, joining in with their role in prevention and combating Modern Day Slavery.
These activities consisted of awareness raising on the phenomena of human trafficking, training on identification of potential victims, how to avoid risk, prayers for the victims and round table discussions. The national helpline number for reporting potential human trafficking cases was distributed to many as part of the campaigns. The 128 participants realised the necessity to learn more about this phenomena which puts the safety of their children at risk.
An emphasis was put on the Modern Day Slavery concept in order to have a better understanding of trafficking in persons. A video of statistics around Europe was shown to give a general idea on the phenomena. Three scenarios/stories of trafficked victims were shared with the students in Kallmet, who were divided into three groups. Various opinions and thoughts were shared by the participants, who were all very active. Through the stories it became clear who are the possible traffickers and who are the possible victims and how to assist the trafficked victims.
Young women in the groups were encouraged to be positive and to express themselves in this social atmosphere. They learned new ways of being successful in their lives which are full of challenges. They engaged themselves in the meetings, shared and exchanged details of school life which could put them at risk.
Round table discussions and powerful stories were shared during the meeting conducted at Mary Ward Loreto Centre in the small village of Shendelli. Through emotional speeches and tears sometimes, they committed themselves to fight Modern Day Slavery, to be saviors and not victims, through raising awareness in their families and community. They shared their challenges and highlighted the power of maternal energy that gives them the strength to protect their families.
In the end of the meeting in Shendelli, everyone felt free to light a candle and make a prayer at the small church of the village, as a symbol of Saving Victims and being a light for their support!
The young women of Tropoja decided to pray and light candles at the Saint Anthony Church in Laç, which is known in Albania as a special place of pilgrimage. All were dressed in white to show their solidarity for the victims of human trafficking.
Women and men in Fier joined in prayers in the church of Fier and lit candles. After the Mass, they came with the need to learn more about Modern Day Slavery, and a meeting took place with the women.
Prepared by the Key Workers of MWL Women
 

Reflection on Events in Croatia Organised on the 18th of October 2015

 

18th October 2015, European Anti-Human Trafficking Day
On the occasion of the European Anti-Human Trafficking Day, our informal Anti-Human Trafficking Network, established during the implementation of the project Raising Awareness of Religious Communities in Croatia of the Issue of Human Trafficking (especially Women)”, participated in a one-day conference in Slovenia. In addition to the one-day Conference, Prayer initiatives and activities were organised in Zagreb.

Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia
Figure 1. Sr. Ljubica, Sr. Stanka, Anita and Ana in Slovenia

Four women members of the Network participated in the second day of a Conference focused on the issues of modern slavery and  law enforcement, organised by the Medaille Trust, a UK Charity, from the 12th to the 16th of October, 2015.
At the Conference, opportunities to hear about the difficulties faced by institutions and organisations involved in this issue were heard, as well as efforts and successes achieved. Sr. Stanka had the opportunity to speak about the situation in Croatia and to present her Project and Network. She reports “My colleagues and I were surprised and inspired by the positive atmosphere at the Conference, in spite of it being a difficult topic and subject matter.”
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb
Figure 2. Ana, Sr. Stanka, Jitka and Young People from Croatian Red Cross at the Flower Square in Zagreb

“On Saturday 17th October 2015, at the Flower Square in the Centre of Zagreb, Ms. Ana Sekelj and I from the Network, together with representatives from the Office for Human Rights and National Minorities of the Croatian Government, the Ministry of the Interior, a network of non-governmental organizations PETRA, Croatian Red Cross and the City Red Cross Society, presented our work, commitment, initiatives, brochures and symbolic items. Through this joint display, we informed the citizens of Zagreb on the issue of human trafficking. You can see and hear all about it by logging on to the National Croatian Radio and Television.” http://www.hrt.hr/enz/dnevnik/303627/ [34:00 – 36:15]
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb
Figure 3. St. Blaise Parish in Zagreb

Sr. Stanka says “On Sunday 18th October 2015, in the convent of my Congregation, the Sisters of Notre Dame, we had a Prayer Service at noon for all the victims of modern slavery.
In the evening, in the Parish of St. Blaise, from 19:30-22:00, together with the pro-life prayer movement “Consolers of Merciful Jesus”, we organized a prayer vigil and adoration for all victims of modern slavery, for the unborn children and for every human life. The text of the prayer vigil will be broadcasted on radio station Radio Maria, at 20:00 on the first Friday in the November (6th November), so believers throughout Croatia can join in this prayer initiative. We believe that prayer-support is the strongest and most powerful mean of combating trafficking in human beings. We also believe that God is the only one who first hears the cry of all the victims and who helps all institutions and individuals who are committed to heal the deepest wounds in humanity.”
Sr. Stanka Oršolić
Article edited by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Let’s Open our Ears to their Cries and Respond, Stop Human Trafficking

 

hands
The Holy Father’s Universal Prayer Intention for October is “that Human Trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated”. With Pope Francis’ intention to guide us, the RENATE campaign of activities and events to mark the 18th of October, is presented in the following overview: 18th October 2015_stories and actions from RENATE Network
You will see from the wide variety of activities throughout the RENATE Network that there are actions to suit every capacity. Join us in our endeavours to stop Human Trafficking.
Each and every effort, will make a big difference to those in need.
 
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Unite to Fight Against Modern Day Slavery

 

GENEVA, Switzerland, 17 October 2014 – Heads of three international organizations have issued a call to citizens from all walks of life to join the fight against modern day slavery ahead of tomorrow’s European Anti-Trafficking Day.
“Everyone has a part to play in this struggle, from shoppers in supermarkets who demand more information about the origins of the produce sold, to high-level executives, legislators and judges who can write and enforce laws to eliminate modern-day slavery from corporate supply chains and bring traffickers to justice,” the heads of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said.
In 1948, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed: “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”
Unfortunately, in the decades since this landmark declaration was adopted, new forms of slavery such as human trafficking have emerged and multiplied, leading the ILO to estimate in 2012 that there are 20.9 million people in situations of trafficking and forced labour globally, with around 880,000 in the European Union. These numbers cover a broad range of practices, from those trafficked in the sex trade, forced to hand over their income to their exploiters, to construction workers or agricultural labourers toiling for little or no pay on isolated sites that they cannot leave.
“Forced labour violates the human rights and dignity of millions of women and men, girls and boys. It contributes to the perpetuation of poverty and stands in the way of the achievement of decent work for all. The ILO Protocol to Convention No. 29 on Forced Labour adopted this year reaffirms the obligation to punish perpetrators of forced labour and to end the impunity that is still pervasive in so many countries,” Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General said.
“The responsibility to increase our joint efforts to fight trafficking in persons concerns each one of us, international organizations like IOM, states, private sector companies large and small, civil society, as well as private citizens,” said IOM’s Director-General, Ambassador William Lacy Swing.
The IOM recently launched the Missing Migrants Project, documenting more than 40,000 fatalities among migrants since 2000 (see: http://mmp.iom.int/).
OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier said, “As we remember all trafficking victims on this day, the OSCE remains firmly committed to continuing to work towards the elimination of this crime in our region and beyond.”
For more information on the International Labour Organization’s work on forced labour: http://www.ilo.org/forcedlabour
International Organization for Migration: http://www.iom.int
OSCE – The Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings: http://www.osce.org/cthb
Source: http://www.osce.org/secretariat/125669