The second International Counter-Trafficking meeting took place at the Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Howth, Co. Dublin from 23rd to 27th July. It was attended by 12 Sisters of Charity from Australia, California, Venezuela, England, Scotland, Ireland, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia.
We shared, discussed and planned how to effectively tackle the problem of human trafficking. We visited the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), which was started by Sr. Stan Kennedy RSC and has been supported financially in its counter-trafficking work by the Irish Province of the Religious Sisters of Charity. Reflecting on the visit, the participants were struck by the professionalism and commitment of the staff. It was moving to hear personal stories from those affected by trafficking, and their experience of the help they received at the ICI. One woman told us “they showed me the future”.
Given the complexity and enormity of the problem of human trafficking, we realised that the problem cannot be tackled without developing an appropriate strategy and having adequate resources in place.
The second organisation we visited was RUHAMA, an organisation started by the Good Shepherd Sisters and Our Lady of Charity Sisters. They work with women affected by prostitution and also provide support to women who have been trafficked. Sr.Gerardine Rowley GSS spoke with great compassion and in a non-judgemental way about the women they encounter that are affected by prostitution or have been rescued from traffickers.
Given the complexity and enormity of the problem of human trafficking, we realised that the problem cannot be tackled without developing an appropriate strategy and having adequate resources in place. We need to work together with other organisations to abolish human trafficking.