November 29, 2014

Connect Call: Opposing Human Trafficking and Prostitution Working Group of Global Action

On Monday, 24 November 2014, members of the Opposing Human Trafficking and Prostitution Working Group from Newfoundland, USA, England, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand held a productive meeting via  Adobe Connect. Ably supported by Anne Walsh, most of us are now familiar with this technology, which enables us to see and hear each other during the meeting.

Prior to the meeting each participant submitted a short report on their activities during the past months. These reports are a valuable means of sharing news, plus highlighting local and national activities that Mercy are engaged with across the globe. Additionally they remind us of the urgent need not only to support and work with those who have been trafficked but simultaneously to address the ‘root causes’ that underpin the burgeoning of this heinous crime worldwide. Through our representative at the UN in NY Mercy has access to decision-makers and is able to network with UN Agencies and like-minded NGO who are committed to protecting the human rights of those caught up in what the UN calls ‘contemporary forms of slavery’.

Simultaneously, Mercy Sisters and their Co-workers in different countries are meeting with parliamentarians and appropriate Government officials, to ensure that there are just laws in place to facilitate the re-integration of survivors back into society. Currently the Mercy Family is addressing the dimension of human trafficking related to sexual and labour exploitation of adults and children. In relation to labour Mercy have been involved in a very effective campaign to ensure that the ‘supply chain for Cadbury’s - a big multi-national company was slavery-free. The result is that Cadbury’s have agreed only to buy cocoa beans from suppliers where the beans are picked by adults NOT children.

During the Connect call meeting each participant had time to highlight a significant or important point in her report. Listening to one exchange between a participant from New Zealand with someone in the US, made me appreciate both our global breadth and the marvels of modern technology that facilitates this! I was also struck by the depth of compassion and professionalism that was evident in the exchanges between the participants. These qualities are essential if we are to offer appropriate assistance and support to survivors of HT and those still caught up in Prostitution.

Reports submitted for our meeting have been posted on the ‘Opposing Human Trafficking and Prostitution’ microsite on the website. .

Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director Mercy Global Action

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