Columban testifies against Human Trafficking

28th April 2015 - by Fr Denis Carter

Shay Cullen Testifying
Fr. Shay Cullen testifies before the US Congress
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As the world celebrated Earth Day on April 22, a day to celebrate our work for wholeness, healing, and restoring right relationships with God’s Creation, Columban Shay Cullen appeared before the US Congress on the issue of human trafficking.

Amy Echeverria writes; He was a witness to the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organisations at the Subcommittee’s Hearing: Accountability and Transformation – Tier Rankings in the Fight Against Human Trafficking.   Shay concluded with these remarks:

“While the Philippine government is striving to address the problem of human trafficking and improve the recorded of convictions much remains to be done. The efforts of the US State department are lauded but reform of the police and judiciary in the Philippines is of the utmost importance. Local government who issue permits and licenses to sex bars that take in trafficked persons must be restrained and sex trafficking must be greatly reduced. Children trafficked must have greater protection and shelter and assistance. Suspects must be prosecuted in a robust manner with integrity.”

The photo shows Shay Cullen testifying – second from left.

Columban JPIC Coordinator in the US, Amy Echeverria, celebrated Shay, his work and that of the entire PREDA staff including Marlyn Capio Richter who also appeared at a Congressional briefing on Trafficking to educate Congressional staff on the realities of children and women who are trafficked and sexually exploited.

She also congratulated the Columban JPIC team in Washington: Scott Wright, Elizabeth Nye, and Susan Gunn for their outstanding work to coordinate a programme for Shay and Marlyn which included Congressional and State Department meetings and their presentations at the national Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference which had more than 800 participants.

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