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Life Shared

First asia Policy- Human Traficking, Bangkok

THE TALITHA KUM -FIRST ASIA POLICY CONFERENCE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING

At Bangkok

                       

The Holy Father   Pope Francis   said: human trafficking is the most extensive form of slavery in the 21st century.  This is indeed disturbing because historically, on the record, slavery has been abolished centuries ago So now, people believe that slavery is a thing of the past, it does not exist anymore! But it is not so.............

Modern slavery called HUMAN TRAFFICKING is affecting men, women and children, who are trafficked become objects of the buy and sell business. They cease to be persons created in the image and likeness of God. 

Pope vehemently insists that the “trade in people is a vile activity, a disgrace to our societies that claim to be civilized” (May 24, 2013) and he appealed once more to every man and woman of goodwill to uphold, promote and protect the dignity of every child of God.  This is why we have committed ourselves to put a stop to it.  This is why Talitha Kum exists!  

TALITHA KUM – the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons  is one of the forums formed by the Union of International Superior Generals (UISG ).. The Talitha Kum First Asia Policy Conference on Human Trafficking was held at the Salesian Retreat House,  Hua Hin, Thailand from November 10-14, 2013. Sr. Estrella Castalone, FMA, International coordinator of Talitha Kum  organised the conference along with her team from Rome. The  Conference aimed to study the implementation of laws and policies; identify issues and gaps; learn advocacy strategies; and set future direction for the group by crafting a Policy Advocacy Agenda.

Mk. 5: 35 – 43, Taking the girl by the hand Jesus said:  “Talitha Kum, little girl arise!”  We want to imitate Jesus in giving a hand to those victimized by human trafficking.

45  sisters  involved in counter-trafficking work in their respective regions from  Asia-Pacific were present . They were: APWRATH (Asia-Pacific Women Religious Against Trafficking in Humans): Indonesia, Hongkong, Cambodia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines; ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), and AMRAT (Asian Movement of Religious Against Trafficking in Persons): India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Also present were 5 lay partners: 1 from Hongkong, 1 from Thailand and 3 from the Philippines. 

                         

There were three FMM participants namely Sr. A.D.Nilanthi Cecilia Ranasinghe, FMM  from Srilanka,Sr. Zubaida John, FMM from Pakistan  and Sr.Sahaya Mary Arulanandhu from Mumbai province India , who is the president of  AMRAT (Asian Movement of  women Religious working Against Trafficking) Sr.Sahaya,was one of the three panellists to speak on partnership in working against trafficking. She spoke about her  work with the commercially , sexually, exploited women and children in Kamathipura in Mumbai which is  the Asia’s second largest red light area.

After much serious work, the Policy Agenda was defined and approved by the assembly.

Our commitment in Talitha Kum is in keeping with the words of Pope Francis:  “in tending the wounds of refugees and victims of trafficking, we are putting into practice the commandment of love that Jesus bequeathed to us when he identified with the foreigners, with those who are suffering because of violence and exploitation”. (May 24, 2013)

We have the Pope as our ally and inspiration to  carry on more effectively our mission of hope – which Talitha Kum is,  to reach out to more and more brothers and sisters and reveal to them the merciful and redeeming love of our God.

I would like to end with the words of Pope Francis , who gave us the most profound reason of this endeavor.   He said  “God is good. Let us imitate God”.

Sr.Sahaya Mary Arulanandhu  FMM

 President of AMRAT (Asian Movement of Religious Against Trafficking in Persons)

Mumbai Province , India