APT is a faith-based group working against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in Ireland. Sr. Sheila McGowan tells us more.

This interview was broadcast on God Send Sunday on KFM on 25 January 2009

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About APT

Background

APT is a faith-based group working against Trafficking in Persons (TIP) in Ireland. It is linked to both the Irish Missionary Union (IMU) and the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI). The members first met in January 2006. Concerned about the growing reality of the worldwide trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation, they wanted to explore ways of working together to prevent this evil.

They have a wide network of international contacts through colleagues working in countries from which trafficked people originate. For this reason the group believes that, as well as having a responsibility to address the evil of human trafficking, it also has a unique contribution to make in this area.

Membership of APT

The members of APT are people belonging to religious congregations or missionary societies which are part of CORI and/or the IMU. APT welcomes collaborators and resource people who are willing to share its work on a short-term or long-term basis.

Purpose of APT is twofold

To raise awareness of the issue of trafficking in persons
To work in collaboration with others for the prevention of the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation

To achieve this purpose APT:

Focuses on developing links with networks of religious in countries of origin and destination
Networks with other similarly committed organisations and action groups, nationally and internationally
Looks for ways to raise public awareness of the issue by offering presentations on the issue to schools, parishes and groups
Lobbies politically for just and effective legislation
Seeks ways to protect the rights of victims of trafficking
Sees as a priority the need to address the issue of demand for purchased sex
Prays and encourages others to pray for those trafficked, for traffickers and for an end to this greatest of human rights violations.
Vision Statement: Our Vision is that of a world in which all persons are respected, valued and given the dignity which is theirs by right; a world where no one seeks to exploit or to enslave another for the purposes of sexual gratification or financial gain.

Networking: At international level we collaborate with other groups seeking to end human trafficking. We have a world-wide network of contacts in countries of origin and transit. At national level we are represented on the High Level Anti-Trafficking Working Group in the Ireland’s Ministry of Justice and also work with other groups who are concerned about this issue.

Awareness Raising: APT has developed presentations suited to various groups at senior school level or adults. Members of the APT are available to speak on the issue of human trafficking and ways in which people can help.

Legislation: APT has been active in lobbying the Irish government on legislation enabling the ratification of the UN Protocol and the Council of Europe Convention against human trafficking. We continue to work in this field with a view to better legislation to protect survivors of trafficking.

For further information email us: info@aptireland.org

or www.aptireland.org