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Pope Francis

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Women religious meet to fight human trafficking

2009-06-23

Sister Eugenia Bonetti
Consolata Missionary

“We are fully involved in counter trafficking because this is the greatest violation of human rights and human dignity”.

Sister Eugenia Bonetti spent 24 years of her life doing mission work in Kenya. Today she’s one of the more active women religious helping victims of human trafficking from all over the world rebuild their lives.

Sister Eugenia Bonetti
Consolata Missionary

“They can be trained to learn a job, to learn some skills, to learn the language, and after to be ready for full autonomy. So, this is the work of the sisters".

But the sisters say they can’t do it alone. They’re trying to build a strong network among women religious and international organizations so as to work together to provide the best help to victims, who, more often than not, are women.

Sister Eugenia Bonetti
Consolata Missionary
“We need also government, we need embassies, we need other NGO’s we need a hospital. Because, that is how we work. We network with everybody".

Imelda Poole
Loreto Sisters

“They can be multiply raped, they can be psychologically abused blackmailed. Saying that their families will be told that they’re into prostitution. Often they have no freedom. They’re trapped and imprisoned".

Imelda Poole works in Albania, one of the more notorious points of origin for sex trafficking in Europe. She hopes that after this conference they can use tools like the internet to build the strategic network they need.

Imelda Poole
Loreto Sisters

“The hope from this conference is that our European network of religious working against trafficking will be linked intimately through the interactive forum with religious all over the world. Because girls in Europe either are, who are being trafficked, are from countries of origin or destination. And often girls in Italy are from Nigeria or from Kenya or other countries, and we need an international network to get the true support”.

Some 700,000 women are trafficked into western Europe every year. The United Nations estimates human trade around the world is worth around $30 billion.

RS