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Update: August 2013



UNANIMA in Ethiopia

While visiting Ethiopia, UNANIMA board member Roselle Santivasi MSC was asked to speak to some religious in Addis Abba about UNANIMA and trafficking. Expecting just a few people, she readily agreed and found herself speaking for two half-days to 50 members of the Ethiopian Conference of Religious Men and Women! But the Spirit came down when summoned, and Roselle shared the story of UI and its work. The group recognized the value of the Stop the Demand campaign, and (referring to UI's method of developing action plans) they developed a strategy for planning a working group to network with the Conference of Bishops office and other agencies that assist trafficked individuals. Many women are trafficked from Ethiopia, and babies are trafficked through agencies that prey on teenage unwed mothers. Boys are lured to work in South Africa, only to disappear. The moral of this story is: be prepared to talk about UNANIMA, everywhere you go!

UNANIMA in Cincinnati

Michele Morek OSU gave a presentation at the 2013 North American Ursuline Convocation in July, where Ursuline sisters were gathered from Canada, Mexico, and the USA. The topic of her speech was "Peace and Women's Empowerment" but of course Michele managed to give away numerous Stop the Demand CDs! Many Ursuline communities are working in their respective regions with groups that fight human trafficking.

Work Program for Trafficked People

The U.S. Conference for Catholic Bishops is trying to expand services for survivors of human trafficking, in a pilot project that enhances employment services in four U.S. cities: Los Angeles, New York, Louisville, and Venice, Florida. It is part of a federal action plan. Comment on it at  or

Action in the Philippines

The Catholic Church in the Philippines is forming an alliance against human trafficking with the Council of Evangelical Churches and the National Council of Churches. The problem is worsening there and Manila Bishop Pabillo said "we could not just keep silent about this." Pornography, prostitution, and the demand for forced labor are key drivers for the trafficking there. (Source:  




Judy Padasas CCV tells us that this group is planning a one-day event on September 5. The "Freedom Forum" is being organized by several ecumenical organizations (including APWRATH) concerned with advocacy against human trafficking, and issues involving women and children. Representatives from each religious congregation/ diocese/ parish, and concerned organizations will be invited. It will be held at the CCF Center on Ortigas Avenue, in Pasig City. Contact       odalieadiao@  for further details.

There seems to be a dramatic rise in  global interest in human trafficking, with UNANIMA communities and women religious all over the world getting involved in advocacy against it it's exciting to learn that we are no longer a single small voice. The United Nations certainly is interested

Trafficking Babies in Gabon

Last February the Religious of Jesus and Mary in Gabon, West Africa agreed to give refuge to two children who had been sold to traffickers.  By the end of the day, two little girls arrived...ages 18 months and 2 1/2 years respectively. They might have been victims of ritual crimes if the police of Gabon had not arrived in time, and if the sisters had not agreed to give them refuge

"T.I.P." Report

The U.S. Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report on June 19 in a reception that honored several "TIP Heroes" who were recognized for their efforts in their respective countries. Individuals from Iraq, Nicaragua, Japan, Cameroon, Croatia, Guyana, and the Philippines received awards and spoke to the group.  This is an interesting report that includes all countries in the world. Find the full report by following links on:

More Resources
Check the website of APWRATH (Asia Pacific Women Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) to see some of the wonderful work that is being done by our sisters there .
Another interesting (though incomplete!) site is a global human trafficking map, with a mixture of good and bad news.

New Director of UN Women

Some were wondering how we could ever replace Michele Bachelet of Chile, as head of UN Women (the organization leading the UN's work on advancing gender equity and women's rights). We were happy to hear that another woman from the global south was chosen.

On July 10 Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa was named to this important post. She has extensive political experience (e.g. as the first woman Deputy President of South Africa and as a member of parliament), and she has a wealth of experience in advocating for women's issues with a combination of leadership, consensus building, and hands-on management skills. She is especially interested in education for women and girls. We wish her well!

CSD "Laid to Rest" and Resurrected

The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), after its 20-year lifetime, has been formally replaced by the High Level Political Forum (HLPF). The HLPF will operate in a "hybrid" format under the auspices of both the General Assembly (GA) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). We, the NGOs, are happy about this arrangement, because we are able to give input at meetings run by ECOSOC, but usually not at meetings under the GA, which include heads of state. Those of you who liked attending the Commission on Sustainable Development will be happy to know that HLPF meetings under ECOSOC rules will meet every year for eight days. Starting in 2016 the meetings will conduct regular reviews on the follow-up and implementation of sustainable development commitments and objectives so Rio +20 will live on!  If you want to read more:

Failed the Test

Well. The new newsletter format we tried last month looked very nice, but many of you could not open it or deal with the program "Publisher" in which it was written. Also, many communities have different ways of sharing this Update with their members, and the newsletter format was more work for them. It was actually more work for us too, getting the translations to fit some languages use more words to say the same thing!  So, we will return to the simple way of presenting UNANIMA news!  Don't forget, we are interested in what YOU are doing.




Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. 
Do justly, now.
Love mercy, now. 
Walk humbly, now.
You are not obligated to complete the work,
--but neither are you free to abandon it.
                                                --The Talmud 



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