A Meeting for Religious Networking in Palembang Archdiocese, Indonesia

The Program of CWTC-IBSI this year is to continue the implementation of the program from last year, besides the Capacity Building for the Commission Boards and activist Networking in Bajawa – Flores, and Coalition Networking Advocacy Taking care for NTT. We also visited some networking such as in Manado together with the YMY Sisters; Yogyakarta (DIY); Sumba; JABOTABEK ( Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Bekasi and Tangerang) and also Palembaang.

Palembang is an old city in South Sumatra, where various ethnic groups live. Palembang has fertile land with its product such as rubber, petroleum, fish, oil palm, etc.

Palembang belongs to a destination area for the wanderer migrants from NTT. The migrants are employed at the rubber plantation, oil palm plantation or as domestic help. In this diocese there is a Apostolic Team for Social Humanity (TKSK). The members of this Team nonsists of SCY Priest congregation, Charitas (Fch), HK, CB, FSGM, BHK Congregation, and Diocesan Priest. The mission of this Team (TKSK) is to carry out activities for humanity such as preventing, advocacy and recovering the victims of the violence and human trafficking and help the victims to return to their origin areas.

For developing the economic sector is done well by the PANSOS BODRONOTO ( a social commission of the Palembang Diocese), there is an Old Folks’ Home; there is also a Rehabilitation for Drugs victims. However, the religious admitted that up to now there is still no attention for the Violence and Trafficking issues, and this reality become a concern for Mgr. Aloysius Sudarso SCY as the Arch-Bishop of Palembang Diocese. Mgr. Aloysius said actually Palembang Diocese has many catholic people who have capacity to cope with these issues, the question is who is willing to pay attention and handle these issues? The number of Priest in Palembang is still limited so the priests are busy to organize and take care the Parishes.

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TK Indonesia Update on ATIP Activities in Timor Leste

Timor Leste is a small country that for centuries was colonized by Portugal and Indonesia. The Timor Island is divided into two parts. The West Timor belongs to Indonesia, and the East Timor is now called Timor Loro Sae or Timor Leste country. The west Timor belongs to NTT Province, which nowadays is the Trafficking Emergency Situation. In the reality the trafficking issues in Timor Leste is not so different from the situation in the west Timor.

We held the first meeting for the 3 days, where 26 religious, men and women are present as the representatives of the religious who works in Timor Leste, with a topic “Be aware of the Human Trafficking Practice in Timor Leste”. Pater Gabriel Suban SVD, the leader of the Religious Group in Timor Leste invited 15 congregation who become the member of Timor Leste Religious group. Although Timor leste is a small country, but it has 73 congregations.

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August Update from UNANIMA International



See statement at link below.




Child, early and forced marriage is a major human rights violation, and unfortunate reality around the world. In July, The Gambia and Tanzania made major strides as they banned child marriage, with strict penalties for violation. Read about these landmark steps towards ending child marriage worldwidehereThe Working Group on Girls, an NGO committee of which UNANIMA is an active member, works actively at the UN advocating for an end to child marriage and other violence against girls. Significantly, WGG and the UN focus on the intersections of child marriage with other human rights violations against girls worldwide, including the right to a childhood, education, early pregnancy, poverty and gender inequality. Read more about the UN’s stance on child marriage through the UNFPA website.  –Tori Larson


Click here to read the rest of the August Update

To subscribe to UNANIMA’s monthly e-mail newsletter, please visit http://www.unanima-international.org/ and fill in your e-mail address and click the “Subscribe” button in the top-right corner.


6,609 convictions for human trafficking in the year 2015 and roughly 20 million victims

From Rome Reports:

Trafficking in Persons continues to be a major threat to Human Rights, according to the annual report published by the US Department of State. Last year, there were 6609 convictions for trafficking in persons, whereas the report estimates that there are 20 million victims of this crime.

Human trafficking encompasses a wide range of illegal activities, such as sex trafficking, forced labor and unlawful recruitment and child soldiers. The report, presented by Secretary of State John Kerry, aims to raise awareness of practices.

US Secretary of State
“When we talk about human trafficking, we’re talking about slavery. Modern day slavery, that still today claims more than 20 million victims, on any given time.

The report also divides countries into three tiers according to the extent of these practices within its borders, and what their governments are doing to prevent them.

Click to read more and watch the video


2016 AMRSWP Convention Statement

From the Association of Major Religious Superiors of Women in the Philippines:

With a 47-year history of prophetic engagement, as an Association of consecrated persons, making visible God’s merciful Face through our congregational charisms and in solidarity with the suffering and marginalized peoples,

WE, the Association of Major Religious Superiors for Women in the Philippines (AMRSWP), represented by 91 women religious superiors coming from 76 congregations, together with our Mission Partners and lay workers, gathered at the Central Luzon State University in the Science City of Munoz, the Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija from July 11-15, 2016. Guided by the theme BECOMING FACES OF GOD’S MERCY TO THE POOR OF HUMANITY AND OF CREATION, we listened to each other, prayed and internalized the theme in our congregations and as an Association.

Through this encounter, we deepened our understanding of the empowering partnerships among the marginalized, the local church and congregations, particularly in the pursuit of organic and sustainable farming and in gender-fair local governance of urban poor women relocatees. We recognized the impact of the work of religious congregations with the Yolanda typhoon victims and the displaced families who are struggling to rebuild their lives and homes. We appreciated the magnitude of our Mission Partners’ work with the rural farmers, laborers, urban poor and indigenous peoples; the overseas migrant workers and their families-left-behind; and human trafficking victims. Finally, we witnessed the expanding role and responsibility, along with new and increasing challenges, of the JPICC (Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation Commission) in the local and global movement on climate change and the care of creation.

In these five days of sharing, reflection and realization, we were brought to a re-encounter with God – an experience that evoked in us feelings of awe, love and wonder at His continuing mercy and compassion.

Re-encountering God changes us. True conversion sharpens our sensitivities to goodness , cultural differences, respect for religious diversity, and our reverence for creation. Converted, we become healers and compassionate weavers of peace, of humane, just and empowering relationships with the poor and marginalized. Transformed, we embrace the feminine at the core of our beings, allowing us to give birth to sustainable systemic changes.

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US State Dep’t gives PH Tier 1 upgrade for anti-trafficking efforts

From the Manila Bulletin:

The Philippines fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.
With this assessment, the US State Department upgraded the country from Tier 2 in 2015 to Tier 1 this year in its 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released this week.

In placing the country in the highest ranking in this year’s TIP report, the State Department recognized the vigorous law enforcement efforts of the Philippine government, its strong efforts to provide anti-trafficking training to authorities, its proactive identification of victims and increased provision of protective services, and its robust efforts to prevent trafficking.

It was pointed out, however, that while Tier 1 is the highest ranking, it does not mean that a country, such as the Philippines, has no human trafficking problem or that it is doing enough to address the problem.
“Rather, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, has made efforts to address the problem, and meets the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000,” the State Department pointed out in its report.

The 2016 TIP report noted that during the reporting period, the Philippine government convicted 42 traffickers, including five for online child sex trafficking and two for forced labor. Also, although pervasive corruption undermined efforts to combat trafficking, the government convicted two immigration officers and charged five officials allegedly complicit in trafficking.

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Pope Francis Addresses Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to the “Judges’ Summit on Human Trafficking and Organized Crime”
[Vatican, 3-4 June 2016] (3 June 2016)

Good afternoon! I offer you a cordial greeting and once more I express my appreciation for your efforts to contribute to the human and social progress which the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences seeks to promote.

My heartfelt appreciation for this contribution also has to do with the noble service you can offer to humanity both by your analysis of the timely topic of indifference and the extreme forms it takes in our globalized world, and by your proposing solutions aimed at improving the living conditions of the poorest of our brothers and sisters. In fidelity to Christ, the Church is committed to meeting this challenge. The Enlightenment slogan that the Church must not be involved in politics has no application here, for the Church must be involved in the great political issues of our day. For, as Pope Paul VI pointed out, “political life is one of the highest forms of charity”. The Church is also called to be faithful to people and their needs, all the more so in situations of deep hurt and dramatic suffering in which values, ethics, social sciences and faith all enter into play. In such situations, your own witness as individuals and humanists, together with your expertise, is particularly valued.

In recent years, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, thanks to the efforts of its President, its Chancellor and a number of prestigious external collaborators – to whom I offer my heartfelt thanks – has engaged in important activities in defence of human dignity and freedom in our day. This has been particularly the case with efforts to eliminate human trafficking and smuggling, as well as new forms of slavery such as forced labour, prostitution, organ trafficking, the drug trade and organized crime. As my predecessor Pope Benedict XVI stated, and I myself have repeated on several occasions, these are true crimes against humanity; they need to be recognized as such by all religious, political and social leaders, and by national and international legislation.

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Maimed maid face of human trafficking

From the Kuwait Times:

CHENNAI: When Kasthuri Munirathinam crawled out of the window of a second floor apartment in Riyadh, she was scared for her life. The 55-year-old Indian housemaid from the southern state of Tamil Nadu was determined to escape from her employer’s apartment where she worked as a domestic help. She had been in Saudi Arabia for just two months, one of thousands of Indians heading to the Gulf states every year for work, but was terrified she would never see her family again.

“I thought they would kill me. I had to escape. I wasn’t given enough to eat. They had my wages, my passport, my phone,” Munirathinam told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview in her home in Vellore, 150 km from Chennai. Munirathinam’s desperate bid to escape last September hit international headlines after the housemaid said her employer had chopped her hand off in the affray, with the injury resulting in an operation to amputate her arm.

Videos and photos of Munirathinam lying in a hospital bed, her arm heavily bandaged, prompted India’s foreign ministry to complain to the Saudi Arabian authorities about the attack although the exact details remain unclear. Saudi police said Munirathinam’s arm was amputated due to injuries she sustained in the fall from the building. Munirathinam is still waiting for action to be taken against her employer. Phone calls and emails to the Saudi Arabian embassy in New Delhi and the Indian mission in Riyadh on the issue went unanswered.

“I became a dependent who needs assistance to even comb my hair … and to think my journey to the Gulf was in the capacity of a breadwinner for my family,” she said tearfully. “Some official (from the government hospital in Chennai) called and said I could get a free prosthetic arm. But going to the hospital would mean hiring a taxi and we can’t afford it.”

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Going Undercover As A Sex Worker


By Mimi Chikarova, from Al Jazeera:

A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

Sometimes I wonder if I would do it again.

That’s the funny thing about life. Experience comes in random, sporadic servings. It’s only years later that the story takes shape.

I didn’t intend to spend more than a year covering human trafficking. It ended up taking a decade. I didn’t intend on reporting in more than two countries. So, how did I end up in nine?

Before my trips, my mum used to ask: “It took us so many years to get out of poverty, why do you keep returning there?” I would sit in her kitchen and the only answer that would come to mind was: “It’s so damn familiar.”

I can say the same about the Balkans. Each time the plane landed, I was home. It could have been Turkey, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria (my birth country), or Macedonia – I wasn’t an outsider. I understood the culture, the rawness of our ways, the dark humour of our days.

But there is one thing I couldn’t understand. What had happened to us? How did we start selling our own girls? How did we make profit from deceit and violence?

At first, I was a photojournalist. I saw the world through the camera. And my idea was to return to my origins and find girls who had survived and escaped their traffickers and pimps.

I knew about the shame and stigma in our culture. I knew that once a girl was forced into prostitution, she could never return and expect her village to understand her ordeal. She was judged, trashed, discarded – even by her own family.

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Two-Thirds of World’s Slaves Live in Asia

Global slavery ranking highlights modern scourge


This 2009 file photo shows an Indian bonded child laborer crying during a raid and rescue operation in New Delhi. A new report on modern slavery shows that two-thirds of the estimated 45.8 million people enslaved worldwide live in Asia. (Photo by AFP)

Two-thirds of the estimated 45.8 million people enslaved worldwide live in Asia, according to a damning report on modern slavery released May 31.

Published by the U.K.-based Walk Free Foundation, the Global Slavery Index used randomized samples to assess 167 countries on the number of slaves, percentage of population enslaved, and government action. In the report, slavery is defined as “situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception.”

The study found that India, China and Bangladesh have among the most slaves in the world, while North Korea, Cambodia and India have the highest proportion of their population enslaved.


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