RENATE: Network of Religious Against Trafficking, Exploitation

During Rome Congress, Nov. 6-9, Religious Will Thank the Pope for His Interest in Troubling Problem and Will Call for Action Against “Clients”

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Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE), discussed their upcoming congress, Nov. 6-9, this Friday in the Holy See Press Office.  The gathering will conclude with an audience with Pope Francis.
In the Vatican, three women, two of whom were religious sisters, spoke today on the event and network, which is present in 18 European countries. ZENIT spoke with Nigerian Sister Monica Chikwe, who pointed out that the problem of prostitution is especially grave when it is part of the trafficking of persons.
“Prostitution has always existed, but when individuals are exploited it’s especially grave,” she said, specifying that “if a prostitute spent hours on the street and no one approached her this would end.”
Therefore, “it is necessary to make ‘clients’ aware, because the majority of them are Catholics or Christians,” she said.
The nun added that there are real mafia networks that recruit young women in their countries of origin, promising them work and oblige them to prostitute themselves with threats and beatings.
Moreover, the laws against trafficking are inadequate, because it is difficult to arrest the exploiters; once they are imprisoned, often they regain their freedom after a few days.
RENATE, said Sister Chikwe, carries out different activities to help prostitutes come out of their situation of slavery. First, a team contacts them on the street. Then, another sector receives them, and a third integrates them. She added that they are received in “home-houses made up of four to six individuals, with help from psychologists, “because they are usually traumatized.”
Sister Chikwe concluded by pointing out that, when they meet Pope Francis, “we will thank him for his interest in this problem and we hope he will continue to appeal to the conscience of men and of those that must legislate.”
The nun expressed her belief that “the creation of Saint Martha’s Group was a positive step in the effort against the trafficking of human beings.”

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Sergio Mora

Buenos Aires, Argentina Estudios de periodismo en el Istituto Superiore di Comunicazione de Roma y examen superior de italiano para extranjeros en el Instituto Dante Alighieri de Roma. Periodista profesional de la Associazione Stampa Estera en Italia, y publicista de la Orden de periodistas de Italia. Fue corresponsal adjunto del diario español El País de 2000 a 2004, colaborador de los programas en español de la BBC y de Radio Vaticano. Fue director del mensual Expreso Latino, realizó 41 programas en Sky con Babel TV. Actualmente además de ser redactor de ZENIT colabora con diversos medios latinoamericanos.

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