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To: Minister of Justice Minister@justice.ie, Minister of Children and Famlies Minister@dcya.gov.ie

Stop Ruhama from getting responsibility over Direct Provision for Sex Trafficking Survivors.

Stop Ruhama from getting responsibility over Direct Provision for Sex Trafficking Survivors.

In August 2020 it was announced that the Department of Justice is intending to set up a Direct Provision Centre for people who have fallen victim to the commercial sex trade which is to be run by DePaul and Ruhama. Victims of the commercial sex trade in this context means people who engaged in sex work or survivors of sex trafficking. While we welcome an end to human trafficking survivors being housed in Direct Provision, we would like to see everyone removed from Direct Provision and housed within communities. This step being a longer-term objective means we need to express our disapproval that Ruhama be placed in a position of responsibility within any new centre.

Please, know that we will not accept Ruhama as a viable organisation for victims of any kind and we demand the Department of Justice and Minister McEntee put an end to Ruhama being considered for the role of running any residential institution or centre and that the department begin the work to replace and remove them from all state funded activities.

Why is this important?

In August 2020 it was announced that the Department of Justice is intending to set up a Direct Provision Centre for people who have fallen victim to the commercial sex trade which is to be run by DePaul and Ruhama. Victims of the commercial sex trade in this context means people who engaged in sex work or survivors of sex trafficking. We also believe other vulnerable people who have been victimised will be moved to this centre. While we welcome an end to human trafficking survivors being housed in Direct Provision, we would like to see everyone removed from Direct Provision and housed within communities. This step being a longer-term objective means we need to express our disapproval that Ruhama be placed in a position of responsibility within any new centre.

Ruhama was founded by The Sisters of Charity and The Sisters of The Good Shephard. As of August 2020, Ruhama, while claiming to be secular, still had 3 members of the Sisters of The Good Shephard order on their board and pushes extreme ideology in relation to autonomy and sex work and sex trafficking. The Sisters of the Good Shephard and the Sisters of Charities claim to have a long history with “troubled women” from the 18th century until the eventual closure of the last laundry closing in the early 2000’s Magdalene Laundries were run by orders of nuns including the Sisters of the Good Shephard who both founded Ruhama and have current positions on their board. The Sisters of Charity too ran Magdalene Laundries. Both refused to meet their victims just a year ago. The orders trafficked women into commercial and domestic slavery and trafficked their children all around the world without consent, more sadly died. By the time the last Laundry closed the orders were involved in Ruhama. The abuses and inhumanity in the Magdalene Laundries run by The Sisters of Charity and The Sisters of the Good Shephard are finally coming into light in their full horror and in spite of attempts to seal the archives, the survivors and the public continue to fight to have them accessible for those they impacted. These two orders and those like them trafficked tens of thousands of vulnerable women and children. Putting an organisation which was founded and still claims members of an order who ran a human trafficking cartel in Ireland for decades, in a place of responsibility over vulnerable victims is absolutely irresponsible and completely ignores what we have learned from our own history.

We must insist that Ruhama is taken out of the list of viable options for this role. Irish people continue to suffer at the hands of the Sisters of the Good Shephard and the Sisters of Charity and while we fight to ensure those victims still have the right to access their personal information, we must also ensure that we never allow institutions to be founded which we know have lead to abuse and degradation and damage to human life.

Ruhama in its capacity as an anti sex trafficking organisation has derailed the anti- human trafficking efforts by focusing so much attention on sex trafficking while not acknowledging that labour trafficking has been the largest kind of trafficking in Ireland consistently until last year. We are unaware of any anti-labour trafficking organisation currently receiving any state funding. Child trafficking is also a serious issue on the ground when working in anti-human trafficking in Ireland, yet the only dedicated anti child trafficking organisation is not regularly funded by the Department of Justice. By conflating sex work and sex trafficking as similarly victimising Ruhama have inflated sex trafficking to be the largest nationwide trafficking phenomena which our work on the ground would discredit. We also find their attitude towards sex workers as “women in prostitution” and the lack of representation of sex workers and trafficking survivors within Ruhama to be massively problematic.

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Ireland

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Reasons for signing

  • Ruhama are a rebranded Magdalene nuns, putting human traffickers in charge of victims of human trafficking is so far beyond obscene the people doing this can only be called evil.

Updates

2020-10-31 13:46:31 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2020-10-30 20:52:31 +0000

500 signatures reached

2020-10-30 20:38:51 +0000

Hi everyone!
Thank you all so much for signing. If you want to go one step further please go to https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HcQ81fU_DxWTnvH8QYk67dItzNRzjKQD/view there you will find a template to send to your TD’s and Ministers. If you don’t know their email addresses you can find them at www.WhoIsMyTD.com. Thank you again and have a lovely Halloween weekend.
Ej

2020-10-30 15:22:17 +0000

100 signatures reached

2020-10-30 14:20:43 +0000

50 signatures reached

2020-10-30 14:11:47 +0000

25 signatures reached

2020-10-30 13:57:12 +0000

10 signatures reached