September 16, 2012

Keeping Human Trafficking out of Hotels: A Campaign of MIA Global Action

MIA Global Action is currently working on two themes: Cosmology/Eco Justice; and Human Trafficking, particularly in relation to its effect on women and children who are trafficked into prostitution and forced labour.

MIA Global Action is committed to systemic change. Our policy and advocacy work involves challenging the unjust structures that cause the problems we are addressing. To ensure that our own lifestyles reflect the values we espouse, we are undertaking theological reflection on the two themes.

One initiative of MIA Global Action is to internationalise a campaign to keep trafficking out of hotels in countries where Sisters of Mercy have a presence. The immediate goal is to have hotels sign up to a Code of Conduct 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!

For the next twelve months the plan is to 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 and Equality
  • Engaging with interested Sisters of Mercy
  •  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 for Congregational Leadership Team and Provincial Leadership Teams
  • Keeping membership aware through regular updates in mercy@live

Sisters within Provinces 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 sisters 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.

Messages to: Sheila O’Gorman rsm

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