Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE)

Networking with others against human trafficking is one of hundreds of ways in which Medical Mission Sisters and our Associates around the world try to be a healing presence to others today.

Medical Mission Sister Dagmar Plum is a founding member of RENATE, a group of women religious in Europe who are committed to working together against human trafficking and exploitation. In September, 2011, the group held an international conference in Poland near Krakow. Women religious from 17 European countries attended. .

Sister Dagmar explains that the conference facilitated contacts “with religious who are already involved in anti-trafficking activities, or with Sisters who are looking for a new and more meaningful mission. There is a great desire, especially among young Eastern European Sisters, to offer services for women in distress that only women can provide as an expression of their solidarity with these women.”

In her work with the Jesuit Refugee Service at a detention center near the Polish border, Sister Dagmar regularly meets women and men victims of trafficking, who are detained because they have no documents. In addition to pastoral work and counseling, she initiates or follows up on juridical procedures for the detainees. She also is teaching some of them English, German, and French.

For Sister Dagmar, who has been involved in human trafficking for many years, RENATE is a great support. She shares, “Cardinal Dwiesicz, the Archbishop of Krakow, opened the conference. He felt very much honored because RENATE had chosen his country for our first conference. He was full of admiration of the work and courage of the Sisters.”

She adds, “Being of one voice, one heart and one passion enables the group to work not only in solidarity, but also to think together strategically. This is the way the mission of RENATE is evolving. We have made a commitment to work not only with the victims, but to study the roots of the problem and to forward the mission of RENATE in light of these insights.”

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February 15, 2012