April 12, 2011

Global Action Lived Locally: A Case Study from Ireland

Your silence means she will be silenced

Sr Mary Ryan is working with the major organisation in Ireland working on prostitution, Ruhama, providing a safe house for women who have been trafficked. The work involves accompanying trafficked women to court, helping them access medical and educational services etc. Most of these women come from Africa and Eastern Europe and many do not speak English. Some of the women have been trained in care of the elderly and are now working in that area.

Mary is also involved in lobbying to prevent trafficking through APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking). APT is a faith-based group working to address the global problem of Trafficking in persons, particularly for commercial sexual exploitation. APT raises awareness about the issue of human trafficking and is involved in lobbying for improved legislation. Mary goes to schools, parishes and universities to educate students on the causes of trafficking and what they can do about it. Mary has also been part of delegations that make presentations to the Irish parliament (Dail) to try and change the legislation on trafficking.

At the global level Mary has made links with Mercy Sisters in South Africa and the United States on the issue of trafficking of women for the World Cup. She is also involved with RENATE (the network of religious organizations in Europe against trafficking) and UNANIMA International a (coalition of 7 congregations of women religious committed to work for justice at the international level in harmony with the charter of the United Nations) in their campaign to stop the demand for trafficking of women and children.

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