Strong Delegation in New York City for the CATHII Program at the UN in 2024

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No fewer than 21 students are taking part in the 4th edition of the CATHII program—University at the UN in 2024. After completing a training program begun in January, the participants will travel to New York from March 10 to 14 to take part in activities organized in conjunction with the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68).  

The students come from the Universities of Montreal, McGill and Concordia     and also from ENAP (École nationale d’administration publique), a first for this knowledge transfer program. Eight of these participants are studying at Master’s level, which brings a touch of additional experience, notably through their internships, notes Sr. Lise Gagnon, SNJM, a member of the trio responsible for this program. The trio also includes project manager Kavitha Culasingam and another CATHII member, Élodie Ekobena from the Centre Justice et Foi. (Justice and Faith Centre)

Already aware of justice issues

Sr. Lise’s findings extend to other considerations, such as the diversity of teaching faculties and intercultural backgrounds, not to mention the already well-assumed open-mindedness towards issues of inequality and justice. “Our participants have already taken these notions on board. In fact, I am moved by their receptivity. We don’t have to convince anyone. All the members of the group already have a benevolent view of vulnerable people.”

This sensitivity, combined with everyone’s experience and knowledge, fuels the discussions, from which emerge pertinent questions and reflections that lead everyone to go further, according to Sr. Lise: “It may seem odd, but for me, I see that they already share Gospel values. This leads me to reflect spiritually as I watch them.”

The members of this 4th cohort will be accompanied by Kavitha and Sofia-Elena Ranke-Farro, partners of the SNJM Justice and Peace Committee in Quebec. In addition to visiting UN facilities, they will be able to take part in parallel activities according to their fields of interest, without losing sight of the status of women and human trafficking issues.

Preparing the next generation

The theme of this 68th edition of the CSW underscores the urgency of action: “Accelerating the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by tackling poverty and strengthening institutions and financing from a gender perspective”.

The students of this 2024 cohort will take part in a final debriefing meeting in mid-April to report on their findings, share their experiences and provide ideas for improving the program and helping to create a new generation of human trafficking experts.

The creation of this program by the Comité d’action contre la traite humaine interne et internationale (CATHII) (Committee against internal and international human trafficking) has always been aimed at raising awareness of this issue among young people. It is a way of preparing a new generation of young people who can pass on their knowledge in their areas of intervention and in their surroundings. The ultimate goal is to counter human trafficking in all its forms and provide better support for victims.