Modern Slavery: the Fight is More Organized Than Ever!

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The latest newsletter (in French only) from the Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII – Action Committee to Combat Internal and International Human Trafficking) reveals a growing concerted effort to combat modern forms of slavery.

In this issue, we report on a number of stimulating meetings. One of these was with Michel Pilon, co-founder and former Executive Director of the Réseau d’aide aux travailleurs et travailleurs migrants agricoles du Québec (RATTMAQ). (Network in aid of migrant farm workers). Sharing his experience, he provided a wealth of pertinent information on current issues, including the recruitment of migrant workers, methods of interaction at the airport, and the challenges faced daily by those confronted with these human dramas.

In late fall, CATHII Board Chair IsaBelle Couillard, s.g.m., took part in three important meetings. Held in Edmonton and Calgary, they focused on human trafficking issues, and in particular on the inhumane conditions in which many migrant workers, migrants and refugees live.

Visit from the official UN Rapporteur

We also report on the highlights of the symposium organized by RATTMAQ on International Migrants Day. In addition to the forty or so organizations and unions from Canada, Mexico and Guatemala, we note the presence of the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. Mr. Tomoya Obokata took advantage of his opening address to denounce the closed work permit systems used in Canada, and called on the Canadian government to offer these people better access to permanent residency.

From left to right, we recognize Sofia Farro Ranke, master’s student in criminology, Tomoya Obokata, Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery for the United Nations, Sr Lise Gagnon, snjm, Talitha Kum representative from the 3 Americas, Sr IsaBelle Couillard, sgm, Kavitha Culum, CATHII project manager and Renaude Grégoire, development and advocacy officer for TK.

In the same issue, we also learn about the existence and role of Talitha Kum’s Young Ambassadors, highlight the arrival of a new member and recall the activities linked to the World Day of Prayer and Reflection against Human Trafficking on February 8.

On the CATHII home page, you’ll find links to some interesting articles, including a more detailed one on the Special Rapporteur’s visit to Montreal. It mentions the presence of Sr. Lise Gagnon, snjm, and the role of Ms. Renaude Grégoire in the Special Rapporteur’s visit.

Inset photo caption
At the RATTMAQ symposium, CATHII was represented by Catherine Laure Juste, a member of the Talitha Kum Young Ambassadors, and Sr IsaBelle Couillard, sgm.