2022 Assembly


Report from ANDANTE GA: Sharing Life – Working Together – Building Strength


ANDANTE (European Alliance of Catholic Women’s Organisations) is an umbrella organisation supporting member organisations to be powerful and credible players defending women´s rights as human rights. Additionally, ANDANTE links Catholic women´s organisations with sources of knowledge and information and offers a platform for reflection and exchange.
Fifty five members from 19 organisations and 13 countries gathered at the Conference Centre High Leigh in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, UK to attend the ANDANTE General Assembly with the theme “Sharing Life – Working Together – Building Strength”. The focus was on the future of ANDANTE, its vision, challenges and possibilities.
The General Assembly consisted of two parts: (i) Study Days and (ii) Statutory Assembly, followed by a social event arranged for each evening.
Full report available here: Report from ANDANTE General Assembly, 14-17 April 2016 by Sr. Stanka Oršolić, DSNG

ANDANTE Newsletter, May 2016


ANDANTE, the European Alliance of Catholic Women’s Organisations, has released its May 2016 Newsletter, available attached. Both RENATE and Mary Ward Loreto (Albania) are acknowledged in the Newsletter!
In addition to news from member organisations, the member’s statements of ‘international policy related to refugees’ and the outcomes of the ANDANTE General Assembly, (April 16th-17th, 2016) feature as the highlights of the Newsletter.
The ANDANTE 10 year Jubilee Brochure is embedded into the Newsletter and is a compilation of the various activities, meetings and events undertaken by ANDANTE in the last decade.
ANDANTE Newsletter_14 May 2016
Read and enjoy!
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Called to Give Voice to the Voiceless, Documentary on RENATE Network


Today, on this International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking, RENATE is launching The RENATE film with a trailer to the film (please see video section on the home page). The full film will be shown soon. We hope you find this trailer enlightening and another enrichment to this special day.

KANA Journal, Sr. Stanka Oršolić Interviewed about Modern Day Slavery


In an interview with Izidora Franić for the Croatian Family Magazine KANA and published in December 2015, Sr. Stanka Oršolić responds to a number of questions about modern day slavery, the work being done by religious throughout Europe to eradicate human trafficking and exploitation and the importance of bearing witness to Gospel values as we minister to others more needy than ourselves.
Full text in Croatian available here: Sr. Stanka Oršolić_Interview for Kana Journal, December 2015_HR
For English translation click here: Sr. Stanka Oršolić_Interview for Kana Journal, December 2015_ENG
Prepared by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

Govt Urged to Do More for Those in Prostitution


President of RENATE and spokeswoman for Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT) jointly criticise Amnesty International’s stance on prostitution.

Sr Imelda Poole, President of RENATE
Sr Imelda Poole, President of RENATE

An international network of nuns working to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation has called on the Government to do more to fund exit programmes for women trapped in prostitution.
At a meeting in Dublin recently, board members of RENATE (Religious in Europe against Trafficking and Exploitation) discussed their response to the refugee crisis and the challenges it presents to children and adults vulnerable to trafficking.
Representatives from countries such as Albania, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, and UK, attended the meeting in All Hallows College.
The board members also discussed new research published in the report ‘A Mapping Across Europe’ which will form the basis of a discussion on future strategy and bring about a blueprint for the way forward for the organisation.
Irish board member of RENATE, Sr Eilís Coe called on the Government to restore funding to Ruhama, an NGO which helps women in prostitution.
“One of the things we need for women in prostitution is an exit strategy, it is no good asking a woman to come out of prostitution if there isn’t something she can be offered instead so as to earn a living.”
Sr Eilís Coe of Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT)
Sr Eilís Coe of Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT)

She warned that some women waiting for years for a decision on their asylum application in direct provision are supplementing the €19 a week they get through prostitution.
“By putting them in those centres, the Government has given them an incentive to go out and supplement their €19 by prostituting themselves in Ireland. They have to be helped. The Government must provide a level of maintenance for women so that they are not forced to do this,” Sr Eilís Coe said.
The president of RENATE, Sr Imelda Poole, who is based in Albania and Sr Coe also hit out at Amnesty International’s controversial decision to support the decriminalisation of sex work and prostitution, as well as for the decriminalisation of the purchase of sex.
Sr Coe said that Act to Prevent Trafficking (APT) in Ireland would be seeking a meeting with Amnesty and she accused the organisation of “contradicting their very foundational belief” in the dignity of every person and their human rights.
“They are not on the side of the victims; they think they are because they are giving rights to prostitution but they are not because they are not criminalising the punter,” Sr Poole criticised.
Members of RENATE also discussed the challenges the refugee crisis presents in relation to trafficking and Sr Imelda Poole called on governments to support DNA identification projects which help trace trafficked children.
She warned that thousands of children are lost through the current massive movement of people. One 14 year old boy and his mother who ended up in Northern Ireland approached a nun there. They had fled Albania as pressure on them increased to radicalise for Syria.
Recalling her recent visit to a refugee camp in the Albanian capital Tirana, she said she had met five Iraqi women there.
“They were not in fact Iraqi, they were actually Iranian but they had fled to Iraq from Iran after the collapse of the Shah. These families have been on the move – suddenly they are targeted in Iraq and so they had to flee from Iraq with their children and their children’s children.”
“Two of their children had been separated from them and were somewhere in an asylum camp in Germany… One of the children of these women wanted to give me information so that we, through RENATE, could try to track down the two children because we work with refugee church service in Germany.”
“The movement of migrants or refugees is impacting all of us. There are thousands of children lost through this movement of people. Tracing is very important,” Sr Poole emphasised.
DNA identification, she explained, had been used in Haiti when traffickers sought to exploit the insecurity and chaos following the earthquake to traffic orphaned children.
Thanks DNA identification, busloads of children who were taken out of the country in the post-earthquake mayhem and were trafficked to Columbia for paid adoption, were all tracked down and reunited with their families in Haiti bar six.
“There now needs to be some kind of global project on DNA. The traffickers are using high tech in their clandestine criminal behaviour, so those working against trafficking have got to get their act more together and use high tech to beat the traffickers,” she stated.
The IBVM Sister said there was a need for closer cooperation through networking and the development of a hub through which all the anti-trafficking networks could access resources.
“It has the highest illegal economy now. It used to be weapons – we’ve usurped drugs. Billions is being gained by the traffickers – it is a very urgent matter.”
By Sarah Mac Donald – 13 November, 2015 at Catholic Ireland.

Biennial Meeting of the COATNET Affiliates in France, 9-11 November 2015


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

Biennial Meeting of the COATNET Affiliates, November 2015
Biennial Meeting of the COATNET Affiliates, November 2015

Main objectives of the meeting:
– Finalise and adopt the strategic plan for 2016-2020.
– Discuss possible ways for evaluating the Network.
– Plan the 2016 Anti-Trafficking Conference in Africa.
– Promote networking and sharing of experiences among the participants, including the use of Baobab.
– Empower affiliates in advocating at national and international level and in existing human rights mechanisms.
– Present the topic ‘’Human trafficking in conflict situations’’ and discuss further action.
This was an international meeting of a global network against Human Trafficking, which took place in Paris from the 9th-11th of November, 2015. Fifty five people were present from thirty three countries worldwide. Members represented the following:

  • Caritas Internationalis
  • National Caritas (Albania, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, India, Kenya, Kongo, Kosovo, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey)
  • USCCB (United States Council of Catholic Bishops)
  • Anglican Alliance
  • Papa Giovanni XXIII Community (Italy and Belgium)
  • CCEM (Comité Contre l’Esclavage Moderne) NGO
  • Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.
  • Medaille Trust, UK
  • IOM (International Organization for Migration)
  • Mary Ward Loreto Foundation

The first two days included inputs from panel and work in groups.
The third day covered the presentation of the group’s work; training on the use of the members’ e-platform called Baobab; the election of the Steering Group and the closing remarks.
Full text available here: Report from the Biennial Meeting of the COATNET Affiliates, France, November 2015

RENATE Voice in The Tablet


RENATE Voice in The Tablet, November 2015
RENATE Voice in The Tablet, November 2015

Imelda Poole, IBVM, President of RENATE & Eilis Coe, RSC, RENATE Board member, speak about Amnesty International’s decision to support the decriminalisation of prostitution, in a brief article published in the 7th November, 2015 edition of The Tablet, under “NEWS from Britain and Ireland”.
Full text available here:
Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications Person

European Day Against Human Trafficking 18th October 2014


On the 18th of October, all over Europe we ask your attention to Human Trafficking.
We, RENATE, ask you to remember the victims of this inhumane crime.
RENATE: Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation
Vision: All people are created in the image of God. We, the religious of Europe, believe in a world where everyone has a right to human dignity. Human dignity cannot be compromised. Therefore we labour to free the world from trafficking and exploitation.
Goal: To respond to the issue of the trafficking of women, children and men in the light of Gospel values.

  • To develop awareness-raising activities against human trafficking and the growing demand within all levels of society in Europe, using all forms of modern technology and communications.
  • To network, share resources, skills and knowledge.
  • To research and implement actions against the growing demand for such abuse in the countries of origin and destination.

You are welcome to get in touch with us via and for more information or for prayers for this work.

Pope Francis about Human Trafficking on 12th December 2013
Pope Francis about Human Trafficking on 12th December 2013