Covenant of Partnership Against Human Trafficking

A Covenant for action against human trafficking between the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines(NCCP)

 

The PCEC, CBCP and NCCP are committed to stand against human trafficking in all its diverse forms and to support victims of human trafficking to reclaim their dignity and to seek justice. We are compelled by the biblical truth that every person bears the inherent likeness of God and the dignity that implies (Gen 1:27), the call of Jesus Christ to love one another (John 13:34), and to set the oppressed free and ‘proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord’ (Luke 4:18-19). We also affirm the basic human right that every person bears ‘to life, liberty and security’ and that ‘no one shall be held in slavery or servitude’.1

Human trafficking is about exploitation and forced servitude; it represents the extreme commoditization of human lives, and thus is often viewed as a contemporary form of slavery. The Global Slavery Index 2014 suggests, what appears to be a very conservative estimate, of around 35.8million people globally living in a state of modern day slavery.2 In 2012 the US State Department estimated that as many as 27 million men, women, and children around the world are victims of what is now often described with the umbrella term “human trafficking.”3

Human trafficking takes many diverse forms for example; sex trafficking and labor trafficking both within the country and across borders, the recruitment of children for labor, sexual exploitation and street begging, the exploitation of people in the sale of human organs, and increasingly the forced coercion of people to acquire sexual images for circulation through the internet.

In September 2013 in a “Declaration of Solidarity Against Human Trafficking” the CBCP, PCEC and the NCCP declared that “we have bonded together to form the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT)”. Over the intervening years we have achieved much together in terms of raising awareness within our churches and with the wider society in regard to the evil of human trafficking.

In this current covenant we affirm our on going support to the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT)and commit together to finding appropriate mechanisms through which we can share our resources in supporting this important movement. We also commit to sharing our experience, learning and knowledge in respect to our work in supporting victims of human trafficking so that we can be of mutual benefit to each other in this important work of compassion and justice.

Human trafficking is an evil that arises out of the greed and lack of compassion of those engaged in trafficking, it corrupts our society through the complicity or intentional inaction of those in positions of authority, and inflicts deep wounds on the bodies, minds and spirits of those who become its victims. Human trafficking is an evil that must be banished from our society, the wounds of those who have been trafficked must be healed, and as national organizations of our respective communions of churches we covenant together to:

* Support our churches to become places of welcome, healing and hospitality for victims and survivors of human trafficking, providing places of sanctuary, legal support, emergency funds, and medical and psychological support;

* Take an active role in educating our local congregations and their local communities on the reality of human trafficking in its many diverse forms;

* Provide forums and venues so that the voice and stories of survivors of trafficking may be heard and their hidden oppression revealed;

* Engage in lobbying through international and national networks of which we are a part to ensure that all forms of human trafficking are addressed by governments and their legal judicial systems;

* Create a network of those members and organizations within our respective councils who are providing direct services to victims of human trafficking so that there might be mutual learning, understanding and referrals of survivors of human trafficking so that they might access the most appropriate services to meet their specific needs;

* Strengthen the response of each council by sharing with each other our experience, learning and knowledge in respect to our responses to human trafficking;

* Continue to support the Philippine Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking (PIMAHT) which has been a significant ecumenical initiative of our three organizations, which underlines the importance we together place on addressing human trafficking, and to establish mutually agreed mechanisms for resource sharing to ensure that there are adequate resources for the ongoing work of PIMAHT; and

* Abide by our Governing Rules and Bylaws.

 

 

Signatories:

Most Rev. Ruperto C. Santos, DD
Chairman
Episcopal Commission for Pastoral Care of Migrant and Itinerant People
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines

Rev. Rex R.B Reyes, Jr.
General Secretary
National Council of Churches of the Philippines

Bishop Noel A. Pantoja
National Director
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches

08 February 2016 – International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking

In the Youth Symposium at the Vatican last year, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, DD reported about the first International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking, held on 2015 February 08, feast of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese who, before becoming a Canossian sister, was forced into slavery.  The day was promoted by the Talitha Kum (the international network of consecrated life against trafficking) and the USMI Counter-Trafficking Office, as well as the collaboration of several pontifical councils and the full support of Pope Francis.

He encouraged every individual who was present to organize a movement in their local areas on that specific day to remember and pray for our brothers and sisters who had been victimized and who are still struggling to escape the chains of modern-day slavery.

Responding to the call, everyone is invited to partake in this year’s International Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Human Trafficking.  The Commission on Youth of the Diocese of Malolos will lead a Eucharistic Celebration and a Prayer Vigil at the Bahay Pangarap Women’s Center Compound in Tabe, Guiguinto, Bulacan on that day, February 08, at 5:00 PM.

This will help increase and raise awareness among the young leaders.  The Commission adopted and embraced the said advocacy, and expresses oneness in spirit in the fight to gradually eradicate this worsening problem.

TIP VIGIL AD

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters, today, 8 February, is the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese nun, who as a child had the traumatic experience of being a victim of human trafficking. The Unions of Superiors and Superiors General of Religious Institutes have organized the Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking. I encourage those who work helping the men, women and children who are enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, who are often tortured and mutilated. It is my hope that government leaders may work decisively to remove the causes of this disgraceful scourge, it is a scourge unworthy of society. May each one of us feel committed to being a voice for our brothers and sisters, who have been humiliated in their dignity.

Pope Francis, Angelus Domini, 2015 February 08

Angelus Domini


 

The Pope greets victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, before commencing his eleventh apostolic trip

human traffickingVatican City, 25 November 2015 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father departed for Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, on the eleventh apostolic trip of his papacy.

At 7.15 a.m., before leaving for Rome’s Fiumicino airport, he received in the Domus Sanctae Marthae eleven women and six children from a Refuge House for victims of domestic violence and trafficking for the purposes of prostitution, according to the Apostolic Almoner. The women were Italian, Nigerian, Romanian and Ukrainian, and are housed in a structure managed by a religious congregation in a village in the Lazio region.

Following the audience, the Pope travelled by car to Fiumicino where he departed for Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, where he is expected to arrive shortly after 3 p.m. (Rome), 5 p.m. local time. He will be received by the president of the Republic, Uhuru Kenyatta, and by the cardinal archbishop of Nairobi John Njue, along with the president of the Episcopal Conference Bishop Philip A. Anyolo and other representatives of the episcopate (Click here to read more).

Many Hands, One Heart – Action Against Human Trafficking

The Institute of Formation Fondacio Asia invites everyone to come and join them in a Musical Cultural Show this September 13, Sunday (there is Mass at 10:00 AM; the show starts at 11:00 AM), for this promotion and fundraising against human trafficking. There will be music, dance and food bursting with Asian flavors and colors!

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Catholics in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei use rosary and website against human trafficking

SINGAPORE, 2015 Aug 24–In the context of initiatives for the Year of Consecrated Life, Catholics in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei have launched a special campaign against human trafficking, a phenomenon that is closely related to their own region of South-East Asia.

To spread awareness of the phenomenon and its impact, the religious of the three countries have launched a website studying the theme and inviting the faithful to pray the Rosary with this special intention.

The recitation of the Rosary is based on the sorrowful mysteries and the whole prayer can be read and downloaded from the new website created for the initiative of Catholics against human trafficking, at http://saynotohumantrafficking.info . The website has been online since July 30, to coincide with the United Nations World Day against this modern form of slavery.

Last month, during a meeting in Johor Bahru (Malaysia), the Conference of Religious of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei (CRMS) unanimously approved the recitation of the Rosary and the launch of the website. They are part of the initiatives promoted by CRMS against human trafficking, a very topical problem. Read more…

On the Road …. Trafficking Workshops

As part of Laura Vicuna Foundation’s (LVF) 25th year celebration, 1,500 children participated in the series of  LVF Advocacy against Child Trafficking in Schools (ACTS) as the CPC on Wheels took a road trip to 3 public Schools in Samar; and 2 more schools in Oriental Mindoro.

LVF

LVF worker Mercedes Juncia handled the sessions to more than 1,200 children from Osmeña National High School (800 students), Marabut National High School (200 students), and San Fernando National High School (200 students). Meanwhile, Sr. Marivic Sta. Ana, FMA and Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA headed a counter-trafficking caravan in Calapan City, Mindoro Oriental from July 14 to 15, 2015 reaching out to 300 young people from Parang National High School and Mary Help of Christians Technology Center. These counter trafficking sessions pledged the following commitments from the students:

  • don’t be afraid to report incidence of human trafficking
  • don’t trust strangers
  • be brave and don’t let others fool you
  • study well and have a good education
  • be sensitive to what is happening around you
  • obey your parents
  • join organizations which give this kind of advocacy
  •  be aware of illegal recruiters
  • echo/share about the issue among their peers, family members and neighbors in their respective communities; and,
  • focus on their studies, not to easily trust strangers or to be deceived by instant offers no matter how enticing they may be.

Source: LVF Newsletter

Pope to mayors: put environment and human trafficking at top of your agenda

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged mayors from big cities to direct their efforts towards the care for the environment and the fight against human trafficking.

Pope Francis

The Pope was speaking to some 70 mayors from around the world who are in the Vatican for a two-day workshop entitled “Modern Slavery and Climate Change” organized by the Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences.

Telling those present he has “a lot of hope” that negotiators at Paris climate talks will reach an ambitious agreement to reduce global warming, Pope Francis said he places great trust in the United Nations to bring about a good agreement.

But – he stressed – he also wants U.N. nations to prioritize fighting both human trafficking and the exploitation of the world’s most vulnerable people.

And referring to his recently published encyclical “Laudato Si’”, Pope Francis made it quite clear that the document is not an encyclical on the environment.

It’s a social encyclical – he explained –  because the state of the environment is directly and intimately linked to the life and wellbeing of humankind.

And this is not the only connection Pope Francis made in his off-the-cuff greeting in which he chose to speak in his native Spanish. Read more……

“I Pretended To Be a Trafficker and I Bought That Child For $26”

(Aleteia News) Fr. Ignacio-María Doñoro de los Ríos (born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1964), is a military chaplain on leave.

He had always dreamed of achieving the rank of lieutenant coronel. However, along the way he found another dream, and he had to make a choice. The choice was between waiting seven days and reaching the rank he desired, or confirming the leave that he had requested and leaving for the Americas to dedicate his life to helping what he defines as “crucified children,” especially those who have been victims of human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation after being abandoned by their parents.

human trafficking

In the Peruvian Amazon

Fr. Ignacio now lives in Puerto Maldonado, in the midst of the Peruvian Amazon, where he directs Nazareth House (www.horgarnazaret.es). Through this apostolate, he works to restore the rights of many children who were abused, and tries to give them back their childhood.

He provides care for 450 children in two houses: one for boys and another for girls. There are 25 permanent residents.
Now, his dream is to build a city for children, which will be named after St. John Paul II. A house will be built to welcome children in special situations, as well as residences for volunteers, and dormitories to house students from other countries who want to experience working with Nazareth Houses. Agricultural and livestock production will be undertaken in order to provide resources to support these Houses.

In order to carry out this whole project, they need economic support. The Peruvian people living in the area help out, although they don’t have many resources. Business people and private individuals from Spain are contributing as well, but Nazareth House needs more; there are many necessities, and many children who need to discover that love exists (Continue Reading).

Women Posing as Nuns Try to Abduct Girls in Philippines

(Aleteia News) How low can you go?

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According to a news outlet in the Philippines, girls in the countryside were lured away from their home with the promise of studying in Manila, and almost abducted into a life of human trafficking—by women dressed as Catholic nuns.

“Human traffickers are taking advantage of the desperation” left by the November 2013 typhoon Haiyan, “and have disguised themselves as nuns from a foundation to try and lure young girls to Manila,” InterAksyon reported.

Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, was the deadliest typhoon in the Philippines’ recorded history, claiming some 6,300 lives in the archipelago (Continue reading).

 

Diocesan Orientation Session on Human Trafficking

The Parish Youth Coordinators and Parish Youth Presidents of the Diocese of Digos had their Diocesan Youth Orientation Session on Human Trafficking last 2015 June 20-21 at the Diocesan Seminar House in Digos.

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