Women religious to forge ahead with countering trafficking

The three-day meet will address issues related to human trafficking

By Philip Mathew

Bengaluru: More than 100 Catholic nuns have gathered in Bengaluru to attend the 9th annual general body meeting of the Asian Movement of Women Religious against Human Trafficking (AMRAT).

The Sisters representing different congregations from India and Sri Lanka will also attend a capacity building program organized along with the general body meeting that began on November10.

According to AMRAT human trafficking is lucrative trade in humans, mostly for sex, forced labor and for extraction of human organs or tissues.

Founded in 2009, AMRAT covers India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Among AMRAT’s objectives is to identify the congregations, organizations and institutions to enlist new member to support each other in countering human trafficking of people, especially women and children.

Archbishop Bernard Moras of Bangalore in his keynote address said that human trafficking is major concern for the Church and the archdiocese will provide all support to the Sisters who are fighting it. He paid tributes to AMRAT which is networking among the congregations to bring human dignity to all.

Salesian Father Edward Thomas, director of Dream India, spoke on missing children and Luckose Vallathara, a retired Indian Administrative Service Officer spoke on child labor and child trafficking.

Sisters of Mary Immaculate (SMI) Sister Lissy Rose, who is the coordinator of AMRAT Karnataka unit, welcomed the participants and guests of the meeting.

Jesuit Father Stanislus D’Souza, provincial of the Jesuits in Karnataka, commended AMRAT for being a convergence of different women religious congregations in the region.

SMI provincial Sister Gracy George stressed the importance of taking preventive measures, along with awareness building, to combat trafficking of women and children.

A documentary on trafficking was screened on the first day.

The meeting will conclude on November 12 after addressing issues to human trafficking and presentation of reports by different regions in India and Sri Lanka. The participant will also work out a plan of action for the next year.

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