The participants reached 130 people, mainly women, from all over the Philippines, working on the Apostleship of the Sea in their respective ports
Manila, Philippines – December 13, 2017 – From December 7–9, The Scalabrini International Migration Network (SIMN) participated at the 1st National Training on Human Trafficking Focusing on Seafarers and Fishers, and 1stNational Gathering/Training for Seafarers Wives, Stella Maris Staff and Stakeholders, under the theme: Caught in the Net (A follow up of the XXIV AOS-Vatican Congress held in Kaohsiung, on October, 2017).
The main speakers of the training meeting were Fr. Bruno Ciceri, of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Vatican City; Ms. Hilary Chester, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) / Coalition of Organization and Ministries Promoting the Abolition of Slavery at Sea (COMPASS); His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila; Mr. Mark Napier, of the United Kingdom Embassy to the Philippines; Sr. Judith Padasas, of Talitha Kum, and Ms. Ma. Yvette M. Tamayo, DOJ/ICAT, Philippines‘ Department of Justice, Interagency Council Against Trafficking in Persons.
The executive assistant of SIMN, Fr. Mário José Zambiasi was present to show the worldwide importance of this initiative for these seafarers or fishers’ women/wives.
The main idea to bring women to this National Training was to empower them and maximize their knowledge of the situation in which their husbands are living, in order to prevent them to become victims of human trafficking and labor exploitation.
At the opening remarks, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, said that fishers end up at the hands of those who have so much, and want even more at the expenses of these poor, ordinary, normal and innocent people.
“All these voices are bringing under the daily light the issue of working conditions on boats (either commercial or fishing ones). These women can be the voice of the voiceless husbands on board. As they organize themselves under the Apostleship of the Sea flag, they are more powerful. In addition, with the support of SIMN, this voice becomes international and can be brought up at the United Nations”, said Fr. Mario Zambiasi, Executive Assistant of SIMN.
About SIMN – SIMN is supporting more than 250 Scalabrinian centers, shelters and programs that are providing lodging, food, training and employment programs; psychological and religious services; protection to victims of human trafficking and support in the integration process to migrants, refugees and seafarers in five continents. In 2016, for example, Scalabrinian Centers has supported 120,738 migrants and refugees and 172,790 seafarers around the world. SIMN is also supporting a network of schools providing education, school supplies, and food, (possibly their only meal of the day) to thousands of needy children. In addition, SIMN is an accredited Non-Governmental Organization at the United Nations, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) and from this perspective is providing research and support for regional and global policies to protect and promote the dignity and the rights of migrants and their families.