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Asia Pacific Augistinian Conference

Paving the Way for the International Combat of Human Trafficking

An anti-trafficking banner.


To make contact with Sr Flolyn, e-mail the APAC Secretariat at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact the mother house in Manila

After the two consecutive International Congress of Women Religious in Network Against Trafficking in Persons held in 2008 and 2009, many felt the need to gather once again to listen to one another and assess the journey and plan for the next years especially in improving the network.

The TalithaKum or the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons is a network within UISG (Unione Internationale Superiore Generale) and originates from a project implemented in collaboration with IOM (International Organization for Migration). In a UISG-IOM partnership, formation courses were organized for Sisters working on prevention of trafficking and caring for the victims across the globe. This is a follow up of the 2008 and 2009 Congresses of Sisters involved in the ministry of Anti-Trafficking and their request for a network of networks. TalithaKum was established in 2009 as a project of UISG with an office at UISG Headquarters. 

The coordination meeting aimed at strengthening the network and its goals, for future evangelical networking of Sisters involved in Anti-Trafficking of persons and for a more concerted effort for the care of victims in the future.


There were eighteen coordinators present and guests from all over the world.  On the first day, the coordinators delivered their accomplishment report for two years. While the remaining two days were used for assessment and strategic planning especially in enhancing the network to better serve the members and the victims as well.

Sr Flolyn’s engagement with this challenging apostolate all began since 2006 when she attended the first Counter Trafficking Course for Religious organized by the UISG& IOM- in Coordination with the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines- AMRSP (www.amrsp.org). This was followed up in 2007 where possible networking among the Asia Pacific Countries was aimed.   Having elected as the first main animator of APWRATH (Asia Pacific Women Religious in Network Against Trafficking of Humans) tried to implement the objectives of APWRATH especially in the Philippines. The APWRATH was conceived in July 2007 as a response of the women religious congregations to the growing issue of human trafficking.  

She likewise represented the Congregation, the Philippines and Asia Pacific during the first and second Congress of International Networking Among Women Religious all over the world.  As a member of TalithaKum, the APWRATH hopes to maximize the network of women religious congregations for exchange, referrals for integration, sharing of modules for schools, communities, congregations and advocacy, lobbying and mobilization.  Member countries in the region are Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Philippines, East Timor, Korea and Australia.

What do the Church say about human trafficking? The Second Vatican Council had already pointed to slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children, and disgraceful working conditions where people are treated as instruments of gain rather than free and responsible persons as infamies which poison human society, debase their perpetrators and constitute a supreme dishonour to the Creator (Gaudium et Spes, 27).

Pope John Paul II in his letter on 15th May 2002 letter to the “Conference on twenty-first Century Slavery - The Human Rights Dimension to Trafficking in Human Beings” cited the message of the 1965 Papal encyclical Gaudium Et Spes to denounce modern day slavery and the trafficking of humans. Such situations are an affront to fundamental values which are shared by all cultures and peoples and values rooted in the very nature of the human person.

“Consecrated life, by its very nature, ought not to be centred in itself but focused upon its commitment at the service of the most vulnerable after the example of Jesus.”  (Acts of the Congress 2004)

The phenomenon of trafficking in persons especially of women and children, calls us not only to be focused but more accurately to throw open the doors of our hearts, letting the compassion of Christ flow out to them. This implies a prophetic and creative presence alongside the victims of this modern-day slavery. 

Update on 24 August 2014:  Sister Flolyn Catungal OSA (mentioned above) is in the group photo of anti-trafficking advocates that appears a few paragraphs above. The picture was taken in about the year 2010 while she was the executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP), where her special role of interest was human trafficking advocacy. In recent times Sr Flolyn has been assigned in Canada.

May we be challenged to be bridges of freedom for the victims. LET AUGUSTINIAN VOICES BE HEARD!








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