Human trafficking in Ghana!


NyankpalaBy Patrick Kalonji Kadima, Stagiaire in Nyankpala, Ghana.

I am Patrick Kalonji Kadima, Congolese born in 1990. I have five sisters and one brother. Of my parents, only my father is still alive. I grew up in Kinshasa but migrated with my family in South Africa and in Lesotho. I did part of my secondary education in DR Congo and then in South Africa. I joined the Missionaries of Africa few years ago. I am currently doing my pastoral apostolic training years in St. Monica Parish, Nyankpala, within the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Tamale in Ghana.

Human trafficking in Ghana!

On Friday 29th September 2017, the Missionaries of Africa and the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa in Tamale gathered at the provincial house for a talk on human trafficking. The talk was given as part of our ongoing preparations towards the celebration of the 150th anniversary of our foundation (1868/69 – 2018/19). One will remember that from the 11th November 2012 to the 8th September 2013 the two institutes of our Lavigerie family celebrated the 125th Anniversary of the Anti-Slavery Campaign of our founder Cardinal Lavigerie. This celebration paved the way for the campaign against human trafficking which is one of the forms of modern slavery that our mother land, Africa, faces daily. The fight against human trafficking is part and parcel of our commitment to Justice & Peace and Encounter-Dialogue (JPIC-ED) which the Ghana-Nigeria Link has called us to share upon. It is following that call that I propose the few lines underscoring the talk we had at the provincial house on human trafficking.

Clement Wie Tuureh copieFather Clement Wie Tuureh, M.Afr, gave us an introduction for the reason of our gathering. This short introduction allowed the presenter, Mr. Abdulai Danaah, the Executive Director of the Centre for Initiative Against Human Trafficking (CIAHT), to begin his talk under the topic: ‘What is Human Trafficking, the Causes and Effects and Strategies Action Plans to End Human Trafficking in the Northern Region of the Republic of Ghana.’

Centre for Initiative Against Human Trafficking (CIAHT)What Is Human Trafficking?

It was discovered during the talk that most people are unaware or unconscious of such a reality called human trafficking. This is simply due to the lack of knowledge of what is involved in human trafficking.

Accordingly, the speaker gave us this definition: “The United Nations has defined human trafficking as “the recruitment, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons by threat or use of force.” He, furthermore, argued: “Similarly, the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 describes severe forms of trafficking as: (a) sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or (b) the recruitment, harbouring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labour or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery”; similar practices being the removal of organs. With the above, the presenter made us aware on how to confirm if a situation can be called human trafficking, one has to consider all the elements that make the situation to be called “human trafficking”.

Elements of Human Trafficking

The elements of human trafficking are: the act, the means and the purpose. First, concerning the act, the presenter made us understand that it is about ‘what is done’, meaning to say, is it recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons? And when it comes to the means, we have to bear in mind ‘how it is done’, meaning to say, is it a threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or making payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim. Then last, concerning the purpose we looked at ‘why it is done’, meaning to say, is it for the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

Those who were present soon realised that they have encountered situations related to human trafficking where they live here in Ghana.

Human Trafficking in Ghana

In his presentation, the presenter mentioned to us that globally speaking 600 thousand to four million people are being trafficked and the majority in this estimation are women and children.

The presenter informed us that Ghana as a country is faced with the challenges of human trafficking; men, women, and children are subject to trafficking mostly in forced labour and sex trafficking.

It was clear in the speaker’s presentation that most people within the country in Ghana do not have the knowledge of human trafficking; and misunderstand the move of human trafficking to migration of one local area to another. Therefore, Ghanaian girls and young adults who move around in search of work from one rural area to another or from one rural to an urban area or community are easily exposed to traffickers.

Another way, in which Ghana is faced with this evil of human trafficking, is that, Ghana has become to some degree a target point for traffickers. Girls are been sent to Europe, America and some other African countries with the hope to have domestic jobs but later they are being brained-washed deceived into forced labour, some work and receive unfair wages, others are abused or forced into prostitution.

Invitation to Campaign Against Human Trafficking

In his invitation to fight human trafficking, the presenter reminded us to be careful as religious and moral figures on how to proceed to fight this evil in the various communities where we live or do our apostolate. In as much as we may wish to reduce or getting rid of this evil by conducting public awareness and informing the public. The traffickers are studying our movements. They are establishing networks and developing new systems to their favours. Again the presenter informed us that the government of Ghana have not yet enforced the law as such that will bring traffickers to justice in most of the cases and protect the victims. Another obstacle that may come our way as we fight human trafficking is that the victims themselves in most cases are not aware that they are being trafficked.

At the end of this talk, I remembered vividly how in 2014 I took part in a play we produced as students of philosophy in Balaka, Malawi, to bring awareness to the public (in schools, parishes and at a conference) on the issues of slavery and human trafficking. It is my prayer and hope that more of these events be encouraged. I wish to invite all of us to be creative and continue participating in the campaign to fight against all forms of modern slavery. “Let us break the chains!

Human tra Malawi 01

JPIC Commission, USG-UISG, Rome, Italy


JPIC Commission, USG-UISG, Rome, Italy LOGO WebThe JPIC Commission promotes and supports the integration of JUSTICE, PEACE & INTEGRITY OF CREATION (JPIC) in the life and mission of the Union of Superior Generals (USG) and the International Union of Superior Generals (UISG) and their member congregations.  It is responsible for animating men and women religious in justice, peace and integrity of creation according to the vows of the evangelical life, through experience, social analysis, spiritual reflection and action.

Our website offers a wide-range of information and resources on justice, peace and integrity of creation. It also serves as a forum for interaction among JPIC Promoters on issues and concerns regarding their ministry, and features a calendar of JPIC Commission events that you can link to your personal calendar. Bookmark http://www.jpicroma.org on your browser and make it a favorite site to visit. 

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Members of the USG and the UISG

All members of the USG and the UISG are invited to designate a JPIC Promoter for their respective congregation/institute to animate their membership in integrating justice, peace and integrity of creation into their spiritual and ministerial lives as men and women religious. A JPIC Promoter is responsible for helping each person and community to identify his/her own particular way of living and promoting JPIC values. The animation of JPIC consists of four elements: experience, social analysis, theological reflection/scripture/charism and action.

In particular, a JPIC Promoter is charged with the following: Remind congregational membership that evangelization and mission, without a JPIC perspective, cannot be authentic. (Cf. The Synod of Bishops, Justice in the World, 1971); uphold the spirituality of JPIC; animate members in the JPIC values; and develop a framework to help develop the JPIC dimension of Christian spirituality.

JPIC Commission, USG-UISG, Rome, Italy LOGO and data

Africa: Religious Sisters Posing As Prostitutes to Save Sex Slaves Eye Expansion


Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa: Religious Sisters Posing As Prostitutes to Save Sex Slaves Eye Expansion

By Ellen Wulfhorst | Thomson Reuters Foundation (London) | London, 18 November 2015

An army of religious sisters who rescue victims of human trafficking by posing as prostitutes to infiltrate brothels and buying children being sold into slavery, is expanding to 140 countries, its chairman said on Wednesday.

John Studzinski, an investment banker and philanthropist who chairs Talitha Kum, said the network of 1,100 sisters currently operates in about 80 countries but the demand for efforts to combat trafficking and slavery was rising globally.

The group, set up in 2004, estimates one percent of the world’s population is trafficked in some form, which translates into some 73 million people. Of those, 70 percent are women and half are aged 16 or younger.

Thomson Reuters Foundation (London) chair“I’m not trying to be sensational but I’m trying to underscore the fact this is a world that has lost innocence … where dark forces are active,” said Studzinski, a vice chairman of U.S. investment bank The Blackstone Group.

“These are problems caused by poverty and equality but it goes well beyond that,” he told the Trust Women Conference on women’s rights and trafficking hosted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Detailing some cases involving trafficking and slavery, Studzinski said the treatment of some victims was horrific.

He told of one woman enslaved as a prostitute who was locked up for a week without food, forced to eat own her faeces, when she failed to have sex with a target of 12 clients a day.

In another extreme case, one woman was forced to have sex with a group of 10 men at the same time.

Studzinski said the religious sisters working to combat trafficking would go to all lengths to rescue women, often dressing up as prostitutes and going out on the street to integrate themselves into brothels.

“These sisters do not trust anyone. They do not trust governments, they do not trust corporations, and they don’t trust the local police. In some cases they cannot trust male clergy,” he said, adding that the low-key group preferred to focus on their rescue work rather than promotion.

“They work in brothels. No one knows they are there.”

The sisters were also proactive on trying to save children being sold into slavery by their parents, setting up a network of homes in Africa as well as in the Philippines, Brazil and India to shelter such children.

He said the religious sisters of Talitha Kum raised money to purchase these children.

“This is a new network of houses for children around the world who would otherwise be sold into slavery. It is shocking but it is real,” he said.

Studzinski said the network of religious sisters, that was in the process of expanding, also targeted slavery in the supply chain with sisters shedding their habits and working alongside locals for as little as 2 U.S. cents an hour to uncover abuses.

He said Talitha Kum, which translated from Aramaic means arise child, was now being hired by companies to see what is going on with respect to the supply chain and expanding globally would help address this issue.

“You can’t generalize about trafficking and slavery as no two countries are the same,” Studzinski said.

Trafficking in Human Beings, Particularly Women and Children at the Border of Mozambique and South Africa


Jean-Pierre Le ScourBy Jean-Pierre Le Scour, October 2015. Six months’ progress report on the Moçamibique / RSA Border.

THE BORDER

As you may know, the control of the 68 kms border between Ressano-Garcia and Mbuzini has been given to the South African Defence Force who this replaced the South African Police Forces. These soldiers are based in Macadamia Camp near Naas (Kwa Maquekeza) where most of the people trafficked from Moçambique pass through the local taxi rank.  It would be easy to control and check this place and block the traffickers and their taxis … but is there a will from the competent authorities to do so?

Ressano-GarciaThrough the Border Post of Ressano-Garcia an average of 800 men, 300 women and 10 children cross illegally every month. What was reported to me, and verified visually, is that women pass very often with very young babies, sometimes only a few months old, and young children who are not their own. Children have been seen running away but they are coerced (forced) into crossing the Border. Since 1 September 2015, new Border crossing regulations allow only the children to cross the Border with both parents and an original birth certificate.

Trafficking or smuggling people has become a business at the Border. On the Moçambican side, you have the “Gatunos” a semi-organised group of youngsters, the “Community Police” with a red arm band, local police and Border Guards. From RSA, the “Matsinyane” taxi operators from Naas, SADF and “Ninjas”. All these people are looking for money. If you do not pay, you are beaten up, robbed and might land up in a police station at Ressano-Garcia or Komatipoort. If you pay your way, you pass without any problem even without travel documents. If the “traveller” resists his little money, possessions and always cell phones are taken away from him by violent means.

The month of September has been marked by an increase in the number of children disappearing, age range between 8 and 14 years. One of them was able to fight off the aggressor but was hit with a broken bottle in the race and received 8 stitches. I have organised a workshop in all the schools about the dangers of living in a small border town and given a course in self-defence to a few volunteers.

Forced repatriation from South Africa to Moçambique continues unabated with an erratic time-table which makes it difficult to organise basic help to these returnees. One of the biggest repatriations was on 15 May 2015 with about 500 persons on board a train. Subsequently, the authorities seem to prefer to use busses. Two or three times a month up to 10 busses cross the Borders without stopping and dump their “human load” at the Border Guards’ barracks where they are being lectured on what will happen to them if they ever try to cross to South Africa again. Then they are told to go … every time at the railway station or at the barracks of the Border Guards it is discovered that a few of these returnees are not Moçambican at all.

MEETINGS

Regular meetings are organised at the Border with the “Commisāo Mixta”:  it regroups border guards from both countries, police, immigration, ONG, Catholic Church. This meeting reports on cases of trafficking, border violations, mistreatment of repatriated people and manner of repatriation. At the last meeting at the end of August we were informed of the new Regulations concerning the crossing of minor children (under 18 years of age).

Following my latest reports, good contacts have been established with the CTIPC (Counter Trafficking In Persons Office). A meeting has been set down for 10:30 on the 5 October 2015 at Khanya House to meet with a delegation from the Vatican. Workshops are being conducted in the Nkomazi District as well as in Moçambique.

TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN FOR ORGAN REMOVAL

The sale of human organs from Moçambique to South Africa continues and with the increase of children disappearing, it is a very worrying trend. A few years ago, a Brazilian Sister (Doraci Edinger, 53, a Sister of the Servants of Mary Immaculate) was murdered in Nampula for denouncing that practice. On 8 September 2015, an albino child was sold by his parents in Nampula – cases that surface are only the tip of the iceberg. A friend of mine, who works at Customs, told me that he intercepted, at the Border, a man who was carrying a bottle full of human genitals. Since the economic situation is very precarious and two-thirds of the country are affected by drought, we are likely to see an increase in the trafficking of young children for any purpose but mostly economical. We can as well question the demand for “muti” (remedies) with a component of body parts, mostly from albinos. Government ONG and Churches should be able to embark on a campaign to destroy these false beliefs. If they do it about the rhinoceros horns, they could do it as well in order to save fellow human beings.

ACTIONS TAKEN

Poster campaign for young girls who want out of the system and to warn them about the risk of being trafficked.

– More than 2000 (Africa Unite – say no to xenophobia – Prayer for Peace) tokens have been distributed everywhere: Border post, schools, administration, Parishes. Thanks to Michel Meunier, M.Afr

– Two places of safety continue to work both sides of the Border.

– Parents’ meetings are organised at various schools to ask them to care more for their children, tell them not to accept lifts or sweets from strangers, not to walk to and from school alone.

– The “CommisāoMixta” demands the application of the law in South Africa to punish severely trafficking in human beings and recommends net-working between Moçambique and South Africa between organisations concerned, Churches and Government instances.

– One member of the “CommisāoMixta” repatriates regularly, to their country of origin, girls who have been trafficked and children who have been abducted.

– The “Escola Esperança” in Ressano-Garcia is welcoming underprivileged children, orphans and children with difficulties without distinction of race, creed and gender – Christian and Muslim children learn to live in peace and harmony.

– A place at the Komatipoort Airfield has been identified as a stop-over for truckers. The manager of the land distribution office is in favour. It would be a take-away restaurant with an ablution block where activists could work on the truck drivers. We now wait for financing and personnel through the CTIP.

CONCLUSION

All these activities are but a drop in the ocean, but the writer takes the greatest encouragement from our leader, Pope Francisco, who puts the plea of the migrants and the trafficked people at the centre of our Pastoral duties, and shows by his action and words how much he cares. And official of IOM has underlined in his own words the urgency of this Pastoral care: “The most hidden aspect of this trade in bodies, regardless of origin or gender or purpose of the trade, is that within these bodies, reside human beings with hopes, dreams emotions and ambitions – and even a sense of justice; justice which so often eludes them with it matters most”. 

Read the translation into Spanish: El infame tráfico de seres humanos entre Mozambique y Sudáfrica

PDF file: Trafficking in Human Beings, Particularly Women and Children at the Border of Mozambique and South Africa

Police and Church partner to combat Human Trafficking at London


Santa-Marta-Group-2nd-Conference-bannerTaking the lead on human trafficking: Second international conference of the Santa Marta Group
Lancaster House, London, 5-6 December 2014

Police chiefs and Church representatives from across the world are coming to London to join Home Office ministers for a Conference aimed at developing strategies to combat human trafficking. The guiding principle of the Santa Marta Group is always to keep the welfare of the trafficked victim at the heart of all law enforcement. 

The conference, which will take place in London on 5-6 December, is being organised by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and the Home Office.

The delegates are coming at the invitation of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, and Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The conference has been organised with the full support of the Home Office, which is hosting the event at Lancaster House, and will be addressed by the Home Secretary Theresa May, and the Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime, Karen Bradley. 

At the launch of the Santa Marta Group, named after the Papal residence where the participants stayed, in April 2014 Pope Francis described human trafficking as “an open wound on the body of contemporary society; a crime against humanity”. 

The Santa Marta Group, led by Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe and Cardinal Nichols is an alliance of international police chiefs and Bishops from around the world, working together with civil society to eradicate human trafficking and provide pastoral care to victims. It seeks to develop strategies in prevention, pastoral care and re-integration by working together internationally. 

At its launch, the police chiefs signed a declaration of commitment in which they stated: “As senior law enforcement officials within the international community, we commit to eradicate the scourge of this serious criminal activity, which abuses vulnerable people.” 

The conference at Lancaster House will also showcase and build on the joint police and church initiative in London that has been running for the past three years; a collaboration that is to be copied and adapted around the world. 

Training modules and good practice will be shared and developed. Closer collaboration will also enable joint investigations between law enforcement agencies enabling a more co-ordinated international approach to rid the world from the scourge of the world’s second most profitable crime: estimated by the International Labour Organisation to generate $32bn annual profits for criminals, with 2.4 million people trafficked globally at any given time. 

Home Secretary Theresa May said: “I am delighted to be hosting the Santa Marta Conference, a forum dedicated to the eradication of Modern Slavery which brings together police chiefs and bishops from across the globe. 

“This government has taken great strides to tackle this abhorrent crime. The publication of the Modern Slavery Bill is the first of its kind in Europe and gives law enforcement the tools they need to target slave drivers, ensuring their prosecution as well as the protection of their victims. 

“But this is a problem that cannot be addressed through legislation alone. It requires action at all levels of society. That is why, last week, we published the Modern Slavery Strategy which makes it clear we must work together to tackle exploitation both here and overseas.” 

Cardinal Nichols said: “The Santa Marta Group is not about theory; it is focused on rescuing people who have become victims of trafficking and find themselves in an impossible situation.

“We meet again in London to continue this important collaboration between Church, police, government and civil society, reporting on the progress made this year and planning future area of work. Since April, The Church has launched the Bakhita Initiative, comprising a refuge for victims and a hub where good practice on prevention, pastoral care and reintegration will be developed and disseminated nationally and internationally, in addition to the ongoing work of the Santa Marta Group. 

“The work against trafficking lies at the heart of the Church’s pastoral concern and ministry. There is much to be done, but the emergence of the Santa Marta Group’s international network is an important step towards helping the victims and fighting this crime.”

Metropolitan Police Service Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “I am proud that London is hosting the second Santa Marta Conference. It allows us to highlight human trafficking on an international platform and demonstrate the determination of church leaders, communities and our policing colleagues worldwide to combat these horrendous crimes. 

“Knowing the full scale of the problem is an almost impossible task as those most vulnerable to exploitation often live at the margins of our society and the criminals hide in the shadows.

“However, this must not stop those who can help, from all nations, making the commitment to do everything they can to enable trafficking victims to escape the clutches of their captors and bring the criminals involved to justice. 

“We know our collective efforts are not adequate to end this modern form of slavery and therefore we must all do more.”

Launching of St. Bakhita Day 2015, A day of prayer for an end to human trafficking around the world.


St. Josephine BakhitaBy Fr. Raymond McQuarrie, M.Afr., Episcopal Vicar for Justice & Peace

Following the first planning meeting for the launching of St. Bakhita Day 2015, and the Renew Africa 2015 Planning meeting this morning, I will like to inform you of the following event being planned by the Anti-Trafficking Department of the SACBC, under the care of Sr. Melanie O’Connor: Event:Launching of the Feast of St. Bakhita (Actual Feast Day on 8th Feb). As Human Trafficking Awareness Day for South Africa

Date: Sunday 15th February 2015. Venue: Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Soweto. Time of Procession: 08:00am – To Moroka Police Station. Time of Mass: 09:00am – At Regina Mundi. Please put this date in your diaries and inform your colleagues, parishioner and friends.

As the Department of Justice and Peace, in collaboration with the SACBC Trafficking Department, we appeal to other Archdiocesan Departments, and all parishes and parishioners, to join our Bishops in making our voices heard, and taking a public stand against trafficking of human beings.

Join us in our procession from Regina Mundi Church to the Moroka Police station to deliver a memorandum on Trafficking.  Join us as we celebrate the Holy Mass, honouring St. Bakhita, imploring her intercession, guidance, protection and inspiration, especially for the many millions of men, women & children trafficked around the world, in Africa, and especially in South Africa.

In the spirit of Renew Africa, which we have just celebrated in our Archdiocese, let us work together and collaborate as diocesan departments, in serving our people – whether we serve with Health/HIV-AIDS, Youth, SPRED, Evangelisation, Liturgy, Communications, Vocations, Catechesis, etc, for His greater glory and the coming of His Kingdom. More information will be made available in early January, or please contact Sr. Melanie (SACBC) directly or the Dept. of Justice & Peace at the Chancery.

With every good wish and God bless.

Global Freedom Network founded by Catholics, Anglicans, Muslims to end trafficking


Global Freedom Network2014-03-17 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Representatives of the Catholic, Anglican and Muslim worlds gathered for the first time ever in the Vatican press office on Monday for the launch of a Global Freedom Network aimed at eradicating human trafficking by the end of the decade. Philippa Hitchen went along to witness this historic event:
The ground-breaking agreement to work closely together across the different faith communities was signed by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo on behalf of Pope Francis. The Argentinian bishop is chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Science and Social Sciences which brought together a broad coalition of anti-trafficking experts for a workshop last November. He was joined by New Zealand Archbishop David Moxon, director of the Anglican Centre here in Rome and representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Holy See. Also on hand to sign the founding declaration was Dr Mahmoud Azab, representing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, one of the most important centres of Sunni Islam located in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.
The other key figure who put his signature to the document was Australian businessman Andrew Forrest, founder of a philanthropic organisation called the Walk Free Foundation. Set up after Forrest’s daughter travelled to Nepal where children were being caught up in a trafficking for prostitution ring, its aim is to stamp out this modern form of slavery by galvanizing and supporting action at local, national and international level. Planned actions include urging governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund to End Slavery and persuading multi-national businesses to commit to eradicating slavery from their supply chains. By mobilizing the world’s major faith communities, this new Network hopes to bring an end by 2020 to what Pope Francis has dared to call a crime against humanity: Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo:
“It’s not politically correct to call this modern slavery a crime against humanity but we want to arrive at that in national and international law….”
Catholics, Anglicans and Muslims mark just the beginning of what organisers sincerely hope will expand to include representatives of all other faith communities as well. They’re also aware that much work is already being done to tackle prevention, prosecution and protection of trafficking victims. What’s been missing up until now, says Anglican Archbishop David Moxon, is a joined-up approach to the problem:
“If you look at the work of Catholic, Anglican and other faith missions over the last three or four decades, they have been engaged in the fight against human trafficking…..”
Statistics show some 30 million men, women and children are currently caught in the clutches of human traffickers and that figure is believed by many to be just the tip of the iceberg. Organisers of this Global Freedom Network are hoping to touch the hearts of all believers to help put an end to this exploitation which they call a shameful affront to our common humanity.
Listen to Philippa’s report and interviews: mp3_icon

Address of Pope Francis to the new Ambassadors – human trafficking


papa-francescoHuman trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free the victims and stop this increasingly aggressive crime which threatens not only individuals but the basic values of society and of international security and justice, to say nothing of the economy, and the fabric of the family and our coexistence.

What is called for, then, is a shared sense of responsibility and firmer political will to gain victory on this front. Responsibility is required towards those who have fallen victim to trafficking in order to protect their rights, to guarantee their safety and that of their families, and to prevent the corrupt and criminals from escaping justice and having the last word over the lives of others. Suitable legislative intervention in the countries of origin, transit and arrival, which will also facilitate orderly migration, can diminish this grave problem.  FULL TEXT 

Poem on Antislavery


Good Shepherd Parish Youth Corner
Good Shepherd Parish Youth Corner

It is a well-known fact that we are living in a doldrums where the tantrums of a new African hope are heard, therefore, the mighty citizens of Kabwata Good Shepherd Parish Youth Corner, present a poem in the spirit and foot of Cardinal Charles Lavigerie entitled The Fight against Modern slavery.

FULL TEXT

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Antislavery Campaign in Mozambique


Os escravos de teatro copieBy Padre Florent S. Sawadogo, M.Afr, Missionarios de Africa, Paroquia de Dombe
Well prepared and discussed during sector meetings in Mozambique, the antislavery campaign finally took place in the absence of the Sector Superior, Timothée Bationo, who went to Burkina Faso for the Plenary Council. On the 29th August 2013, a minibus well decorated with writing about slavery took off from Beira to Dombe with two seminarians and a driver. The next day was the opening day of the campaign.
In Dombe, the thirsty ones for Justice & Peace awareness were ready early morning to embark to Sussundenga led by Florent S. Sawadogo en route to Tete at about 500km from there. Richard Ujwigowa was already in Tete for the ground work.
In the morning of the 31st, people from various parishes in Tete gathered at the Cathedral longing to take part into the inputs of the day. The following parishes were represented: Changara, Boroma, Matundu, Sao Pedro, Sao Jose, Moatize Cathedral and Matema. There were also some representatives from the Catholic university (UCM), other universities, the commission of Justice and Peace of Tete and some individuals like the Bishop, two visiting Brazilians and some authorities from political circles and NGO’s.
Among the Missionaries of Africa, two Fathers, two stagiaires and two seminarians spread the message of our founder Cardinal Charles Lavigerie to 108 people originating from Sofala, Manica and Tete.
The topics for discussion were: the history of slavery, the slavery of yesterday and today, the traffic of human beings and commerce of human organs, medical assistance on these cases, testimony of an elder about slavery in Mozambique and a drama which summarized this issue.
In the morning of the 1st September, Richard and Florent celebrated the closing Mass of the campaign at the outstation of Matema where the Missionaries of Africa are planning to live and work at the parish.
The seed of “the fight against slavery” has grown in Mozambique. May the Holy Spirit strengthen the hearts of men and women of good will to fight against modern slavery!
The Antislavery Trade Campaign in Chimoio
By Maurice Odhiambo, Stagiaire in Dombe Community
The Antislavery Trade Campaign came to Chimoio on the 7th and 8th of September 2013 at the Catholic University of Chimoio. Richard Ujwigowa welcomed the 500 participants present. Other organizers were Florent S. Sawadogo together with the stagiaires Maurice Odhiambo and Serge Kasongo. The conferences focussed on historical and new forms of slave trade, human trafficking and their devastating consequences.
Different dramas, dancing, reciting of poems, drawing and singing took place at the end of the day. It was a very wonderful night. So much so that no one could sleep. It was accompanied by music to keep the atmosphere conducive. At the end, the juries combined all their results and the first three winners in each item presented won different prizes. It was not only for the best performers but there were also rewards for all the participants. The function closed with the Holy Mass on the 9th at the same venue.

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Moçambique: Padres católicos debatem tráfico humano


Beira, 15th September 2013
As I am writing these lines, one of the major events organised at the level of SAP to mark the 125th anniversary of Lavigerie’s Antislavery campaign, has just come to an end. The sector of Mozambique was the only one capable of pulling off something in the line of the bus tour we had envisaged at the initial stage of the campaign. A minibus set off from Beira on 29th August and travelled to Tete, the boom town along the Zambezi River, picking up some people from our parishes of Dombe and Sussundenga. A two day awareness event was organised in Tete and the same happened in Chimoio a week later. Hundreds of people took part. The grand finale took place in Beira, at the centre of Nazaré, from 12th to 15th September. Conferences, debates, radio and television interviews, drama and the 4-day-long continuous and interested involvement of some 80 participants were a considerable achievement by our confreres here.
Claudio Zuccala, M.Afr
Voz of AméricaFrancisco Júnior, Actualizado em: 12.09.2013 18:16
Em Moçambique os padres católicos estão a organizar um encontro para reflectir sobre o problema do tráfico de seres humanos.
O encontro decorre na cidade da Beira, centro de Moçambique. Para além dos religiosos, participam no encontro oficiais da polícia, da procuradoria da república e representantes de diversas organizações da sociedade civil.
”Não à escravatura”, é uma campanha que decorre desde o início do ano, em 22 países africanos onde a congregação católica “Missionários de África”, também conhecida por “Padres Brancos”, está presente.
Em Moçambique, e na zona centro do país, os religiosos já promoveram diversas actividades nas províncias de Tete e Manica, e, de hoje até domingo, vão reunir-se num centro, em Inhamízua, periferia da cidade costeira da Beira. Um encontro de reflexão onde se falará do tráfico de seres humanos.
Com a presente campanha, os Missionários de África pretendem também celebrar os 125 anos da campanha lançada pelo seu fundador, o cardeal Charles Lavengerie, para a abolição da escravatura em África.
Fundada em 1868, a congregação “Missionários de África” estabeleceu-se em Moçambique em 1946 nas províncias centrais de Manica e Sofala onde, para além da sua missão evangélica, tem contribuído para a formação de líderes religiosos sobre a doutrina social da Igreja, justiça e paz, preservação e protecção do meio ambiente, bem como no diálogo inter-religioso.
Não obstante o encontro da Beira marcar o encerramento da campanha “quebremos as correntes”, as acções de prevenção e sensibilização não vão parar tal como referiu à Voz da América, o Padre Hugo Seenan, um dos organizadores do encontro de reflexão sobre o fenómeno de tráfico de seres humanos que iniciou esta quinta-feira e termina domingo, em Inhamízua, arredores da cidade da Beira.

Slaves. They are still among us!


Fenza conference 07-09-13 02 copieFENZA Conference: September 17, 2013
This was the theme of the conference organized by the FENZA team on Saturday 17th against the backdrop of the Antislavery Campaign celebrations and commemorations which are coming to an end this month.
Four inputs were given. Claudio Zuccala, the JPICED Provincial Coordinator,  presented the historical background in which the campaign was launched by cardinal Lavigerie -with specific references to the situation encountered by the first White Fathers when they arrived in Zambia at the end of the 19th century-, and the link with contemporary forms of slavery. Brother Jacek Rakowski, director of the Home of Hope, spoke about the slavery inherent to the life of children living in the streets. Sister Sabina Namfukwe, of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Child Jesus, currently matron at the Zambia Catholic University, shared her experience in the field of fighting Human Trafficking in rural areas in Zambia, especially in villages near border towns. In her presentation she explained the methods used by the traffickers and the main causes and contributing factors that lie behind the problem.
Fenza conference 07-09-13 01 copieFinally, Mr Francis Chivuta, coordinator of the National Freedom Network in Zambia and directly involved in human trafficking awareness raising  and victim support,  illustrated the aim, the goal and the methodology used by the NFN which was launched in South Africa in 2011 but is now operating in different countries.
The conference was made lively by PowerPoint presentations and short video clips on the topic. Some of the participants raised interesting questions and gave their own enriching contribution to the debate.
One of the strongest outcomes of the conference is the necessity to create a network of all the parties interested and committed to fighting modern slavery. That would enable us to pool together our resources and plan for the future. We are all convinced that it’s absolutely necessary to keep high the alert level and to do whatever is within our outreach to try and stop any form of slavery. It’s good to keep that in mind as the FENZA team will draw up a table of contents for the next series of conferences.
N.B. Most of the material used during the conference is readily available. Please contact Romaric Bationo at director@fenza.org or Claudio Zuccala at c_zuccala@hotmail.com

Prosecutors get mannual on human trafficking


The Post Online 12-09-2013By Stuart Lisulo, Thu 12 Sep. 2013, 14:00 CAT
JUSTICE deputy minister Ngosa Simbyakula says there have been very few prosecutions of human trafficking cases in Zambia.
Speaking at the official launch of the first manual for law enforcement officers and prosecutors to combat human trafficking in Zambia, Simbyakula said the training manual provided practical tools to law enforcement officers and prosecutors to understand and effectively apply the provisions of the anti-human trafficking Act of 2008 to ensure the successful prosecution of human trafficking cases.
The manual, which builds on already existing training for law enforcement officers, will equip prosecutors with a clear understanding of what human trafficking is, he said.
Simbyakula said with a focus on the role of prosecutors in the fight against human trafficking, the manual would also sensitise officers on victim identification and assistance as well as witness protection.
Officers included in the training of trainers, which commenced yesterday, include personnel from Zambia Police, the Department of Immigration, National Prosecutions Authority, Drug Enforcement Commission, Zambia Law and Development Commission and the Ministry of Justice.
Simbyakula further said the government’s expectation was to see an increase in the number of successfully prosecuted cases of human trafficking.
And US Embassy chargé d’affaires David Young said the training manual would enable law enforcement officers to bring victims of trafficking “out of the shadows and into the light” where they could find justice and support to rebuild their lives.
They suffer under what President Obama has called the ‘intolerable yoke of modern slavery.’ Last year, roughly 46,000 victims of trafficking were brought to light worldwide, but millions still enslaved. These victims need justice. These victims need our help, said Young.
Chief of Mission at the International Organisation for Migration Andrew Choga who officially handed over the manual to Simbyakula said there was a need to understand what trafficking was and to have a clear picture on when the act had been committed.

Pope Calls for Anti-Human Trafficking Meeting


CISA 25 yearsVatican City, Vatican – CISA N0 074 – August 23, 2013
Vatican experts will gather this coming November with the aim of better tackling the growing human trafficking scourge after a request made by Pope Francis.
“We must be grateful to Pope Francis for having identified one of the most important social dramas of our time and that he has had enough trust in our Catholic institutions to ask us to arrange this working group,” said Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
The bishop’s academy along with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences and the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations will meet to discuss a Vatican action plan to help combat what is often referred to as the modern slave trade.
“Trafficking in human beings is a terrible offense against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights,” Bishop Sánchez Sorondo told Vatican Radio on August 22. “In this century, it acts as a catalyst in the creation of criminal assets.”
The group will meet at the Vatican City’s Casina Pio IV, home of both the Pontifical Academy of Science and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
Bishop Sánchez Sorondo observed that the United Nations has begun to be aware of this growing crime “only in 2000,” together with the effects of globalization.
“The alarming increase in the trade in human beings is one of the pressing economic, social and political risks associated with the process of globalization,” he said. “It’s a serious threat to the security of individual nations and a question of international justice.”
According to CNA, a 2012 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on human trafficking says around 20.9 million victims are forced into labour globally. Each year, about two million people are victims of sex trafficking, 60 percent of whom are girls. The practice is not limited to poor and underdeveloped areas, but extends to all world regions.

New FENZA Conference on the 7th September 2013


FENZAOur next FENZA Conference will take place on Saturday 7th September 2013.
Venue: Faith and Encounter Centre (FENZA), Bauleni near Mathia Mulumba Catholic Church or Yatsani Radio.
Time: 14:00 to 17:00 hours

Theme: Slaves! They are still among us!

Slavery or enslavement is not just something of the past! Today, millions of men, women and children are trapped in slavery, around the world, including in Zambia.
Yes! Around us, many of our brothers, sisters and children are victims of modern forms of slavery such as: Human Trafficking, Forced Labour, Child Labour, Early and Forced Marriage.
The victims are innumerable! The facts are shocking! But the good news is: some people are already working with the victims to stop these new forms of slavery.
There is still more to be done to fight and stop modern slavery.
Come and get the facts! Let’s us debate the issues and solutions to this human plight. Come and be part of an antislavery campaign.
“I am a human being and I am no stranger to anything affecting humanity. I am a human being and injustice towards other people makes me heartsick. I am a human being and oppression offends my nature. I am a human being and cruelty towards such a great number of my fellow human beings inspires me with nothing but horror.” (Cardinal Lavigerie, Founder of the Missionaries of Africa)
The panellists are activists and victims of modern slavery. We have also invited several of them to be with us.
Your presence and contribution will help in “breaking the chains”.
We hope to see you on Saturday 7th September 2013.
The FENZA Team

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition: August 23


logo-wikipedia-free-encyclopediaInternational Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition, August 23 of each year, the day designated by UNESCO to memorialize the transatlantic slave trade. That date was chosen by the UNESCO Executive Board’s adoption of resolution 29 C/40 at its 29th session. Circular CL/3494 of July 29, 1998 from the Director-General invited Ministers of Culture to promote the day. The date is significant because, during the night of August 22 to August 23, 1791 on the island of Saint Domingue (now known as Haiti), an uprising began which set forth events which were a major factor in the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade.
UNESCO Member States organize events every year on that date, inviting participation from young people, educators, artists and intellectuals. As part of the goals of the intercultural UNESCO project, “The Slave Route”, it is an opportunity for collective recognition and focus on the “historic causes, the methods and the consequences” of slavery. Additionally, it sets the stage for analysis and dialogue of the interactions which gave rise to the transatlantic trade in human beings between Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition was first celebrated in a number of countries, in particular in Haiti (23 August 1998) and Senegal (23 August 1999). A number of cultural events and debates were organized. In 2001 the Mulhouse Textile Museum in France conducted a fabric workshop entitled “Indiennes de Traite” (a type of calico) used as currency in trade for Africans. The International Slavery Museum opened its doors on August 23, 2007 in Liverpool where Slavery Remembrance Day events have been conducted since 2004.
Source: Wikipedia

Ministry of Michel Meunier on modern slavery in South Africa


OIKOS LogoOn the 2nd August, I gave a talk to students & professors of Cedara (St. Joseph Institute) where our theology students go. There were about 50 people; the biggest attendance they ever had! A proof that modern slavery is a very hot topic! It had been organised by the OIKOS group, of which Antony Alckias is the Secretary. He is one of our students who should be ordained deacon in December.

As I was speaking to philosophy & theology students and teachers, I started with a quick overview of the attitude of the Church towards slavery through the ages followed by a brief history of Lavigerie’s antislavery campaign.

The big question is: what is the Church doing? The Counter Trafficking In Persons (CTIP) Office at the Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) published all kinds of posters & flyers to bring more consciousness. They had a 3 day seminar in April and started a Truck Drivers’ Anti-Trafficking group. They will soon publish a small book “The Church and Anti-Trafficking”. The Sisters seem to have more roles to play, as most trafficked people are women and children.

United in the same Mission,Michel Meunier

Michel Meunier, M.Afr

Also: South Africa Human Trafficking Bill Signed Into Law

Article of Nzimeni Jeremiah Gama, OMI

Speech on the human trafficking and forced labour choral competition


A pre-UNWTO event awareness raising on human trafficking and forced labour in Livingstone, southern province of Zambia
Livingstone, 20th July 2013
Speech by Pastor Francis Chivuta, National Coordinator, National Freedom Network – ZAMBIA (NFN)
CEO, ZCRC
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honor to be here amongst you today to speak on such a delicate issue as Human Trafficking and Forced labour. I would also like to thank the St Andrews Anglican Church of Livingstone through Father Emmanuel Chikoya, the Coordinator of this Programme for inviting me to be the guest of honor and give a key note speech in such an esteemed setting.
Human Trafficking

Of all the global resources, human life is the most significant. The bible in Gen 1:27 say “so God created human beings, making them to be like himself. He created them male and female” This shows how valuable we human beings are special in the eyes of the creator. No diamond can mine itself and no gold has the capacity to be refined without manpower; without human life, all the weapons, food and oil in the world would mean nothing. READ MORE