Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

Talitha Kum Korea: Sisters in solidarity against human trafficking

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By Sr. Marie Jean Bae, Province of North East Asia (Talitha Kum Korea Coordinator)

As sisters known for our special charism in working for the most marginalized women and girls in society, we were invited by Bishop Peter Kang U-il of the Diocese of Jeju, South Korea, to become partners in the work of Talitha Kum – the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Human Trafficking.

‘Talitha Kum Korea’ was officially established in the country ten years ago in the first meeting organized in Seoul by the Association of Major Superiors of Religious Women in Korea (AMSRK). Its first step was to make a plan to share about anti-human trafficking in Korea in each area and ensure there were no conflicts between similar groups and sisters.

Since the launch of Talitha Kum Korea, our sisters have participated in the network on anti-human trafficking activities where we support exploited migrant workers, women and adolescents in situations of prostitution, and migrant women who are victims and survivors of domestic violence. As coordinator of the Talitha Kum Korea network, I engage with around 30 religious orders who are permanent members of the network.

Through Talitha Kum Korea we women religious advocate for anti-human trafficking and stand in solidarity with victims and survivors using the 4Ps Framework (Prevention, Protection, Prosecution, and Partnerships), proposed by the UN’s Palermo Protocols to eradicate human trafficking.

A motto of our Congregation – One person is of more value than the whole world – becomes alive when we give value to the lives and livelihoods of the poorest and most vulnerable people of our time with the belief that they are most precious and much loved by God. To believe that all people bear the holy image of God is an important aspect of our mission.

This is reflected in the spirit of Talitha Kum, which is grounded in Jesus’ invitation to reconciliation and healing. As written in the Gospel of Mark: He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’)”.

Our network of members encounters girls and boys, women and men, who are trapped in situations of death and despair, and the members speak and invite them to life through Talitha Kum solidarity.

An example of the work of our network is the Holy Family Shelter which supports North Korean refugee women who have been trafficked, many through forced marriage. Sold by their families, many end up in China, forced into a life of exploitation – unless they manage to escape and find a way home to access support services such as this.

Watch Sr. Marie Jean Bae talk about Talitha Kum’s Call to Action on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Our Congregation has always been a strong support and resource in the Talitha Kum network as we zealously carry out our mission of working in solidarity with women religious around the world on anti-human trafficking advocacy and activities.

As sisters and partners-in-mission we must continue to live the mission of “Talitha Kum,” helping those who are in the most hopeless of situations to get up and rise from death to new life.

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