WORKING GROUP ON GIRLS AND ANTI-TRAFFICKING

Two Sisters of Notre Dame who are regular participants in UN efforts added their voices to the recent Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York. Because of their interest in women and girls’ issues, Jo-Ann Flora attends monthly meetings of the UN Working Group on Girls and Rosemary Reynolds heads the joint Namur/Coesfeld Anti-Trafficking efforts.

Jo-Ann Flora shares about CSW: “This Commission is very exciting and energizing. Just the sight of so many women from so many countries and cultures is inspiring. The launch of UN Women gave this Commission special significance. I understand better now the structure and the five major directions of UN Women.

The UNICEF Plan International plenary session on elimination of all forms of violence against the girl child was excellent, primarily because among the presenters were three young women who spoke from their own experience. I learned about an area of exploitation of women that I was not aware of – teenage widows. I understand better the interface between anti-trafficking initiatives and the work of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.  I am very pleased that I was able to take part in the Commission and am grateful that our NGO presence at the UN made this possible.”

Rosemary Reynolds shares about two CSW workshops she attended: “At the first workshop, Protecting and Empowering the Girl Child Online and Offline, panelists shared their own personal stories and examples of anti-trafficking programs in their countries. A speaker from the UN Office of Disarmament reported that more women are missing from the world today than the total number killed on all battlefields since WWI.

Commercial Sexual Exploitation and the Girl Child: A Human Rights Approach Workshop focused on prevention, protection and assistance for children who have been trafficked. Nan Kennelly from the US Department of State discussed the Luxor guideline which aims to encourage businesses to utilize their global reach and network of connections to combat human trafficking.”

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