August 25, 2012
Over the past year we have linked with Sisters of Mercy worldwide and with Aine O’Connor in the UN, sharing our experience as members of APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking), and learning of best practice from the various countries.
One initiative which was developed by Mercy Investment Services in the US is a campaign to keep trafficking out of hotels in countries where Sisters of Mercy live and work. This involves inviting hotels to sign a Code of practice which has been developed by ECPAT (End Child Prostitution / Child Pornography and Trafficking). The Code has been adopted in many countries. Unfortunately Ireland is not one of these. It is time to act!
Over the next twelve months, we will develop a strategy for bringing the Code into effect in Ireland. This involves a number of steps.
-Researching the Code
-Forming alliances with other NGOs eg; APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking), Ruhama, Barnados, Immigrant Council of Ireland, Children’s’ Rights Alliance
- Linking with AHTU (Anti Human Trafficking Unit) in the Dept of Justice
-Linking with the Irish Hotels Federation
-Identifying hotel chains which have already signed in other countries, or are well disposed towards the spirit of the Code (i.e. building on success)
-Writing regular reports
- Keeping you aware through regular updates in mercy@live
Any and all interested sisters will be invited to join in the campaign. To help in the work a process of training will be provided. A sample letter for hotel managers will be made available, and you will be given the background information necessary to deal with any questions which may arise.
In the shorter term the immediate goal is to have the Code signed by two hotel chains and six independent hotels.
Ultimately it is proposed that it becomes the policy of Sisters of Mercy to hold Mercy events – Chapters, Assemblies, workshops, talks etc. in hotels which have signed up to the Code, and to make that policy known when booking venues.
Mary Ryan rsm and Sheila O’Gorman rsm