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Addressing Human Trafficking: Report from The Congregation

October 3, 2017

Steps taken by The Congregation through MECPATHS to address the issue of Human trafficking:

  • Aisling Murray to increase her working hours to 18 per week.
  • Ann Mara was taken on staff to replace Ruth Kilcullen.
  • New Website designed and content developed.
  • Letters to MEPs – Letter drafted for lobbying purposes.
  • Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage – 2 workshops given on “Trafficking” and 2 workshops given on “The Good Samaritan.”
  • Evaluation process – Feedback given from all volunteers as to how the project is going.
  • Feedback Forms designed and handed out to hotel staff for completion after presentation is given.
  • Contacted almost 200 hotels to ask about possibility of presentation being made.
  •   Quarterly Meeting (September 19th) MiaDeFaoite joined us to share about her story.
  • In March, MECPATHS team members volunteered with the GIFT Box Project, a nationwide awareness-raising initiative organised by the Loreto Sisters and APT (Act to Prevent Trafficking) with the support of the Department of Justice. The GIFT Box (Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking) is a public art installation that highlights the deceitful and manipulative tactics traffickers use to lure and trick their victims. The Box travelled around Ireland over the course of a month, going on display in universities, shopping centres, and town centres in nine locations around the country.
  • In July, MECPATHS was invited to give a presentation to the HR manager of Prem Group, an international hotel group with hotels around Ireland. As a result of this, Prem Group proposed a joint project to develop an online training resource for their staff. Working with the MECPATHS team, they produced a comprehensive interactive tool.
  • In 2017 MECPATHS expanded its reach by engaging with students of hospitality management at college. Visiting Shannon School of Hospitality, GMIT, and DIT, we gave presentations to hundreds of students. The level of engagement was very encouraging. Educating students who will go on to be hotel managers and leaders in the hospitality industry presents a crucial opportunity to influence the way in which that sector views and address sex trafficking in the future. Generally, the students were interested and concerned by what they heard and took part in vibrant Q&A sessions.

 Ann Mara - MECPATHS Coordinator