Humankind has not woven the web of life.

We are but one thread within it.

Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

All things are bound together.  All things connect.

Chief Seattle, 1854 



The Blue Heart represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The use of the blue UN color also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.

The United Nations has launched the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons. The Fund was established following the adoption by the General Assembly in July 2010 of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which urges Governments to take coordinated, comprehensive and consistent steps to combat such trafficking and to adopt a human rights-based approach. The fund will help Governments as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to protect and support victims of human trafficking so that they can recover from their physical and psychological scars.


Each year the UN Department of Information (DPI) holds a meeting of NGOs on an important issue. This year the theme is “Sustainable Societies: Responsive Citizens” and the DPI/NGO conference is being held in Bonn, Germany from September 3-5, 2011. Having the DPI/NGO Conference in a different region each year allows more people to understand how the UN works at systemic change. At the 2009 conference in Mexico, various Notre Dame congregations took advantage of being together and preceded the conference with a three-day UN Orientation to help Sisters become aware of how they could contribute to policy making on local, national and international levels.

There is no registration cost for this DPI/NGO conference. If we know early enough who is interested, we can seek housing with religious communities in Bonn. This would be a really good opportunity for teachers, social workers, and justice and peace supporters, especially those living in Europe, to meet other NGOs who are working in the area of sustainable development. They will find out how they can network and strategize to make changes to structures to preserve our earth and atmosphere for generations to come. Subthemes will include the “green economy” in the context of poverty eradication, transparent governance, and grassroots activism. Let us know if you are interested.  

For more information, please visit:


In our February issue we reported on your participation in a UN survey about the trafficking of women and girls and announced that the responses would be used as the basis of a short film to further raise awareness of the trafficking epidemic. “To Whom It May Concern” was produced by the non-profit Artfully Unforgotten under the sponsorship of Franciscans International and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Shown at the UN on International Women’s Day, it is now available online with the hope that religious leaders will share it with their parishes and communities to raise further awareness about the trafficking of women and girls.

 View this inspiring film at: only)