RENATE (Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation) was established in 2009 and includes women religious from 16 countries throughout Eastern, Central and Western Europe. Sr. Imelda Poole IBVM, who is the current president of RENATE, is based in Albania –a country that is considered by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) to be one the highest places of origin for human trafficking activities.

Modern-day slavery includes child trafficking, forced labor, domestic servitude and trafficking for sexual exploitation. The most common forms of human trafficking across Europe are sexual exploitation and forced labor. Nearly 70% of the victims are female and the average age of a victim is 12 years old. Of the estimated 27 million modern-day slaves around the world, more than 12 million are found in Europe.

Since the fall of communism, human trafficking has become the fastest growing form of organized crime with an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. California Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, states: “After drug trafficking, human trafficking is the world’s second most profitable criminal enterprise, a status it shares with illegal arms trafficking.”

The three main objectives of RENATE are:

  1. to develop awareness raising programs against the growing demand of human trafficking, and to use all forms of modern technology and communications in this work
  2. networking and sharing resources, skills and knowledge to support the members in their daily work and to build capacity for this task
  3. to research and implement actions against the growing demand for such abuse in the countries of origin and destination.