Salesian Missions Debuts at the UNOV

16 Oct 2020

Photo credit: Fr. Thomas Pallithanam, SDB

By Fr. Thomas Pallithanam, SDB, Salesian Representative to the UN ECOSOC

The 10th Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime took place from Monday, October 12 through Friday, October 16. These meetings take place every two years in Vienna, the headquarters of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime.

Br. Gunter Mayer served as the main representative of Salesian Missions at Vienna, appointed by the Dicastery of Youth Pastoral. Since the meetings were conducted in a hybrid mode—both in-person and remote—he attended the meeting in person. Fr. Maximus C. Okoro from Nigeria, Ms. Barbara Terenzi from VIS, Italy, and Giulia Travesari from Guadalajara, Mexico also participated via remote mode. Fr. Maximus had access to the speaker line to make oral interventions at the meeting.

On Tuesday, October 13, Br. Gunter participated in the plenary and made an oral intervention during Agenda item 2(b), highlighting among other things, the work that Salesians are doing to prevent human trafficking and to rescue, rehabilitate and repatriate children and youth who are trafficked. “The Salesians of Don Bosco are active through their network of Salesian establishments and NGOs in implementing a broad variety of interventions, e.g. in Nigeria awareness raising campaigns have been carried out in 5 locations reaching 268 secondary schools totaling around 170,000 students. Campaigns have been implemented in markets, parks, buses, hospitals, streets, mosques, and churches reaching around 240,000 people, while three national radio stations with an audience of over 12,000,000 people have been mobilized to disseminate relevant information. However, action must be taken at the international level through the support of the UN and the active participation of the member States!”

Photo credit: Thomas Pallithanam

Before concluding his oral submission, he made the following recommendations on behalf of the Salesian Missions In. “Concluding we would like to highlight the need for:

1. Increased awareness raising among the population with a focus on the rights of children and youth for countering transnational organized crime.

2. Strengthening of education at national and local levels as a concrete means for countering transnational organized crime.

3. Active involvement of CSOs at national and local levels also regarding the Review Mechanism as stakeholders at the grassroots operating within the communities.” See link for the whole text.

We will continue to speak up for and with our young people to make the world free of trafficking in persons and a better place for everyone.