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Edition No. 576 | 30 July 2014
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July 2014
Editor: In the 40+ countries where Sisters of Mercy and our Partners in Ministry serve, we support trafficked persons, provide programmes to educate about exploitative practices and lobby for change to this 'crime against humanity' (Pope Francis). As we join in marking this, the first UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the words of the recently appointed UN Special Rapporteur, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, offer us pause for thought:
'...I am more and more convinced that trafficking should be seen primarily not as a criminal phenomenon but as one of the worst forms of exploitation of socially vulnerable people. Exploitation of workers and especially of migrants has become endemic. In the continuum of exploitation, trafficking represents the segment in which, taking into account degrading working and living conditions, extreme low salary, lack of viable alternatives, social isolation, unhealthy and unsafe working conditions and sometimes the use of violence and threats, exploitation can be considered as a slavery-like practice. People concerned however share issues, rights and needs with many other exploited workers. In other words, we need not only a criminal justice response but also, importantly, a social response to trafficking and exploitation...'
- Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Judge at the Criminal Court of Rome, Former OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (appointed 27 June 2014)
Source: La Strada International Newsletter, Issue 32, March 2014, p13
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Image: 'I'm not for sale'. iStock. Used with permission
Final reminder: Bookings close in 48 hours (1 August)
Reminder: Bookings for Attendance at the 20th Anniversary Celebrations at Baggot Street close 1 August.
There has been a wonderful response to the invitation to be present at Baggot Street. Most of the events are now fully booked out but there are still places available for the celebrations on Mercy Day and for the Closing Day events.
If you are planning to attend either or both of these celebrations at Baggot Street, please ensure that you fill in the Registration form (attached to this item) and return it to Baggot Street by 1 August.
Download the Registration form here (PDF)
Messages to: Madeleine O'Hanlon - Receptionist
Forthcoming in Mercy E-news: Getting Ready in August for the September Celebrations
Here's some of what's coming up in E-news over the next few weeks to help us in our preparations for the week of celebrations in September.
Issue 577 (6 August) Join us in Prayer -The 'Prayer for MIA' written for this occasion (and beyond) will be available online with an invitation to Participate in the 30 Days Pilgrimage of Prayer (commences 25 August).
Issue 578 (13 August) Practice Your Singing - the songs and hymns that will be used in the rituals will be online
Issue 579 (20 August) Send Special Celebration Greetings - an invitation to creative response will be issued online
Issue 580 (27 August) Familiarise yourself with the Ritual Elements - prayer rituals will be online; Make Technical Preparations - what you need to know/have in place to join in the Livestreams from Baggot Street;
Messages to: the Editor
MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week
On this first World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, let us hold in prayer:
- the estimated 27 million women, men and children currently held in slavery- like conditions.
- the young girls and women exploited and objectified in the commercial sex industry.
- those forced to become soldiers, especially children forced to commit violence.
- those in bonded labor in agricultural fields, mines and factories.
- the perpetrators and organizers of human trafficking that they may experience conversion of heart
- governments, corporations, and consumers, that we will address the systems that make human trafficking possible.
- those who make efforts to stop the demand for human trafficking.
Source: adapted from Prayer Service for an End to Human Trafficking, School Sisters of Notre Dame, 2013
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Editor: The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the illegal profits made from the use of forced labor in the private economy worldwide amount to $150.2 billion per year, exceeding both the population and GDP of many countries or territories around the world. This 'fact' is included in one of today's Further Resources Opposing Human Trafficking (see below).
The list of further resources on opposing human trafficking published in Mercy E-News from January 2013 onwards can be found below in reverse chronological order (23 July 2014 - 22 January 2013). If you hadn't time previously to read, watch and listen to these, or you want to check back on a listing, here's a quick way to access these.
Today provides an opportunity for us all to stop and consider the situations of trafficked persons.
Messages to: Denise Boyle fmdm - Assistant Director MGA
Editor: At MIC they gathered in the dining room for a special morning tea; in Brisbane, Australia, Sisters and Staff came together at the Congregation Offices to watch the video. In Washington the Team, Staff and some Sisters from the surrounding areas gathered at the Institute offices for the screening. In England and Ireland Mercy E-news arrives late Tuesday evening and it kept Sisters up even later watching the video...
We've heard stories of impromptu gatherings to watch it. We've had messages of being moved, being inspired and being encouraged.
If you weren't able last week to watch the video of the Opening of MIC in 1994, it remains online here.
Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
Image: l-r: Mary Trainer rsm (Americas) with Mary Reynolds rsm at the special morning tea on 23 July, 2014
As a Mercy community we pray with those in need of prayer. We especially pray this week with the intercession of Catherine McAuley for Keith, Michael Gade, Carol Brown, Sebastian Moulton, Liliane Downing, Suzanne Beliveau, Michael Sullivan, Tony & Susie whose names are newly added to our prayer list and for all those who have asked for prayers.
Anne Hannon rsm - Vice postulator Europe and Africa
Sheila Carney rsm - Vice postulator Americas
Caroline Ryan rsm - Vice postulator Australia & PNG, Aotearoa New Zealand, Philippines
Cries of tragedy, war, suffering continue to dominate world news. In the U.S. an ongoing humanitarian crisis is visible daily at the border between the United States and Mexico. For several months a startling increase in the number of unaccompanied minors (persons under 21 years of age) has been taking place. In recent weeks care and compassion of these children has been met with hatred and movement of deportation... Anne Murphy rsm responded to an email invitation sent by the Institute Justice Team and joined 46 other Sisters of Mercy on a conference call with staff members of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops....
Ways to support Sr Anne's ministry to unaccompanied migrant children are linked to this item.
Messages to: Anne Murphy rsm
Image: Border Wall, Brownsville, Texas. Public domain (2009)
Editor: Last weekend in the USA, participants of the Interfaith Weekend of Prayer and Compassion met in their churches and communities 'to preach, pray, converse, light candles and write letters to the children at the US borders'. Be moved by reading some of these heartfelt letters then Go online to send your own letter and encourage others to do the same
Editor: This is the fourth in the series profiling contemporary Mercy ministries focussed on MGA concerns as part of the 20th anniversary celebration lead-up. Previously published: Sabon Rayuwa Centre for Cosmology, Ecology and Culture (9/7), Earthkin (16/7), ARISE (23/7)
'Mission is what God does in our world. Our call is to share in God’s mission, in what may prove to be the great adventure of our lives.' So says Anthony Gittins CSSp.
Our last Chapter Statement calls members to 'keep hope alive in our world today.' We do this in and through our Mercy Mission.
One of the mission outreaches happening in our congregation is the work towards eradication of human trafficking, something put to us by Jesus through Mercy Global Concern. 'He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives.' (Luke 4:17). Individual Sisters are working in their own localities alongside women who have come into Aotearoa New Zealand supposedly for one purpose and have ended up in very different circumstances.
Messages to: Anna Nicholls rsm
A Slow and Arduous Journey - Let Us Begin! (Americas)
Editor: We thank Mercy Association in Scripture and Theology (MAST) for making the following article available from the current journal. Please support MAST. Details are linked here and can also be found at the end of the article.
As persons of Mercy, 'Our prayer calls us to respond to the needs of the world and our ministry leads us back to God.'1 We are called to integrate contemplation and action. As Joan Chittister, O.S.B., says, we are called also to compassion and to understand ourselves. 'What religious life requires of us is an authentic response to today.'
Today one of the most complex and complicated issues we are called to address in ministry is human trafficking. It is complicated because it is interconnected with many other issues, as is clear from looking at our Institute-wide Critical Concerns...
Download the complete article here (PDF)
Messages to: Jeanne Christensen rsm
1. Mercy Spirituality: Reflections on Living the Charism of Mercy, Sisters of Mercy South Central Community, 2011, p.1
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) annual meeting drew members, including Mercy Investment Services, from across the country to discuss the continued shareholder engagement work on various sustainability issues and to listen and learn from invited expert practitioners...
With the adoption of the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies are expected to "know and show" that they do not infringe on human rights through their operations and supply chains...
Messages to: Pat Zerega - Senior Director of Shareholder Advocacy
Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery are among ICCR's priority issues. Find out more here
Recent/Newly Available Resources for Opposing Human Trafficking
The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the illegal profits made from the use of forced labor in the private economy worldwide amount to $150.2 billion per year, exceeding both the population and GDP of many countries or territories around the world. From the report Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour. Read the report in full or summary here or read a fact sheet here
Globally, 14 million girls under the age of 18 marry every year. An estimated 140 million girls are expected to become child brides this decade if current rates continue— that's according to the CEO of Plan International Australia which has recently released a report Just Married, Just a Child: Child Marriage in the Indo-Pacific Region, written in conjunction with Anti-Slavery Australia. The report can be read here (27 pps; pdf) The video clip Lamana's Story - Because I am a Girl accompanies the report (03:40).
Inside a Bangladesh garment factory.
'Meet the woman who makes Walmart’s low-priced clothes. She works 10-hour days for $103 per month. And her factory is one of the good ones...' Read the article in US Catholic online.
'Til Everyone Can See'. This very catchy song with powerful lyrics —'Everyone is blind 'til everyone can see, No one can be free when there is slavery'—was written to launch the ILO’s Red Card to Child Labour Campaign for last month's World Day Against Child Labour. 168 million children are currently estimated to be in child labour worldwide; a number fed by situations such as the poverty forcing many Syrian refugee families to send their children to work in Lebanon.
Play the song here. (03:54)
This song features popular artists such as Pharell Williams and Sons of the Sea (among others) so would be very appealing to second level (secondary) students. Images in the video clip are from the film The Harvest (La Cosecha) by Shine Global Inc. Worth viewing.
STop Slavery is a video infographic created by USCCB (01:47) promoting their resources. View it here
Anti-Slavery Australia offers a free online training program for frontline workers dealing with trafficking and slavery. Find out more details and enrol here
Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section to: the Editor
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Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Peter Burnett (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)