Sharing models and best practices to end modern slavery and restore dignity to its victims
Malta, 13-14 June 2017
Following a wish of Pope Francis to study and eradicate modern slavery in terms of human trafficking, forced labour, prostitution and organ trafficking, which he considers humanity’s wounds, we will gather in Malta to examine the data and the extent of this crime against humanity and to identify and compare the best practices and model solutions that are being adopted worldwide, both state-led and by private actors.
After a welcome speech by Her Excellency Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta and current President of the EU Commission, Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, who has been spearheading Pope Francis’ initiatives to render modern slavery a crime against humanity, will point out the importance of acting together at all levels, secular and religious, leaving aside our differences, to promote human dignity.
First of all, Kevin Hyland, the Independent UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner, will explain the successes of the British Modern Slavery Act, one year later, in view of its application in a wider European and global context.
We shall then focus on the Swedish model to combat prostitution by criminalizing the purchase of sex, with Swedish Chancellor Skarhed who, in 2010 presented an evaluation of the law ten years after it came into being. This is the law which, for the first time in history, penalizes the customers. We will also hear from Professor Marta Torres and Grégoire Théry about the adaptation of this model to France, where it was adopted last year with a special focus on the victims. Activists Sr Lynda Dearlove and Rachel Moran will speak about their efforts to have the Nordic model adopted worldwide.
Dr Francis Delmonico will speak of his work to combat organ trafficking throughout the world and will give an estimate of the international scope of this crime. He will end by suggesting the best practices according to his experience.
US Colonel Mike Edmonson will tell us about his fight against cybersex trafficking, which has opened up new channels for traffickers.
We will also hear from Neli Delgado, a survivor who will speak about her journey from victim to advocate and entrepreneur.
Activist Rosi Orozco from Mexico will present her protocol to rehabilitate sex trafficking victims, which has already proved to be successful, also thanks to the collaboration of the Mexican government.
Fr Jeffery Bayhi, from Louisiana, USA, will present his new shelter for juvenile victims of prostitution, Metanoia Manor, which he was able to build with the collaboration of the Governor of the State of Louisiana and the Hospitaller Sisters. It will host up to 16 teenage girls and provide for their spiritual, psychological, educational and health needs.
Mohamed Amersi, as Trustee of the Foundation of Nobel laureate, Kailash Satyarthi will speak about forced labour and the Foundation's experience in setting children free from this scourge in India.
Bishop Alastair Redfern, Raza Jafar and Mohamed Amersi will speak about the Global Sustainability Network, its philosophy and practical goals.
The meeting will culminate in a Final Statement identifying the tasks to address in the future, in order for all human beings who have been commodified to recover their dignity, freedom, peace and happiness. This Statement will be presented to the President of Malta, whose Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society is focused on the identification, nurturing and promotion of wellbeing and the advancement of peace and wellbeing. Malta currently holds the Presidency of the EU Commission.
Finally, humanitarian photographer Lisa Kristine will present her exhibition ENSLAVED, A Visual Story of Modern Day Slavery, a powerful statement about one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time. Her truthful, profound images allow us to glimpse the beauty, suffering, compassion—and above all—the dignity of men, women and children around our world.
The meeting will end with a screening of the movie SOLD (abridged version), a narrative, feature film adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Patricia McCormick. Based on true stories, SOLD is the story of Lakshmi who journeys from a pastoral, rural village in Nepal to a gritty brothel/prison called Happiness House in Kolkata, India. Through one extraordinary girl’s story, SOLD illustrates the brutality of child trafficking, which affects millions of children around the globe every year. Globally the average age of a trafficked girl is thirteen, the same age as the girl in the film. SOLD is a call to action, and a testament to the power and resilience of the human spirit. SOLD is directed by Academy and Emmy award-winner, Jeffrey D. Brown, executive produced by two time Academy Award winner, Emma Thompson, produced by Jane Charles, co-produced by Katie Mustard and written by Joseph Kwong and Jeffrey D. Brown. We hope this film will inspire a global movement to address this crime domestically and internationally.