For the first time, thirty-three women religious and laity from across Southeast Asia gathered in Metro Manila for the Asia-Pacific Women Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (APWRATH) Regional Conference. Their objective: to strengthen APWRATH’s regional network and increase their capacity to combat the trafficking of human beings.
The delegates began the process of deepening their insights on the complex phenomenon of trafficking to facilitate the task of reformulating a new vision, mission and organizational structure for APWRATH, taking the first steps toward a stronger and broader anti-trafficking network.
Presenters from the AMRSP Women and Gender Commission, the Visayan Forum, the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Coalition Against Trafficking, Talitha Kum, Asia-ACTs, and a woman survivor of trafficking shared their insights on the human dimensions of trafficking and useful information about anti-trafficking laws and methods of intervention and prevention.
The conference ended with a poignant and painful reminder of the importance of fighting human trafficking, as the delegates visited a shelter for young girls who have been victims of labor and sexual trafficking .
The delegates have now returned to their home countries, with a deeper commitment to build their counter-trafficking network as they work toward an Asia-Pacific free of modern-day slavery.
Talita Kum, the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons, is a network within UISG (International Union of Superiors General – www.uisg.org) which originates from a project implemented in collaboration with International Organization for Migration and funded by the US government’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
The network aims to share and maximize the resources that Religious Life has on behalf of prevention, protection, assistance, awareness raising and the denouncement of trafficking in persons.
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