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THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL JUSTICE QUARTERLY

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A BETTER FUTURE Making life brighter in Kenya


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THE CATHOLIC SOCIAL JUSTICE QUARTERLY

www.justicemagazine.org Issue 13 Winter 2016

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Editorial Justice Magazine is a quarterly publication that reports on and aims to further interest in the Catholic Church’s social teaching. It takes as its guide the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church. We would love to hear from you with your feedback, ideas for future editions or your own contributed articles. Please get in touch via our website or send an email to editor@justicemagazine.org. If you like what you read in Justice Magazine, let your friends and family know and pass this magazine on to them. Advertising To find out more about how to advertise in Justice Magazine and our rates, please contact editor@justicemagazine.org

EDITOR’S MESSAGE

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his first edition of Justice for 2016 has, as its opening article, a piece looking at Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Peace and his hopes that people will overcome the indifference, both to God and our neighbours, that seems to blight the world today. It is fitting therefore that this issue is full of inspiring articles about both individuals and groups doing just that - showing compassion and tackling injustice in myriad ways across the globe. Whether it is building new schools in Uganda, protecting workers in Brazil or campaigning on behalf of prisoners, people here have been motivated to act against the indifference the Holy Father is so concerned about. The Pope challenges us all to get involved in tackling these issues in whatever way we can; offering hospitality to migrants and ensuring that injustices in the workplace are not tolerated are just two that spring to mind. Perhaps we could all look at 2016 as a year of getting involved, whether by supporting one of the charities featured here, or establishing groups in our parishes that help to raise money for good causes. As St Thérèse of Lisieux showed us, the little things we can do to make our world a better place are truly worth doing. Lee Siggs

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The next issue of Justice Magazine will be published in spring 2016. Please contact editor@justicemagazine.org with ideas for future articles or to suggest improvements. Editor Lee Siggs editor@justicemagazine.org 07806 946697 Twitter: @justicemagazine Editorial advisers Jonathan Houdmont Nana Anto-Awuakye Advertising Emma Peckett emma.peckett@justicemagazine.org Front page photo: Lar Boland/Misean Cara Justice is designed using Quadon by Rene Bieder and Calluna/ Calluna Sans from Jos Buivenga Justice Magazine Ltd, Silkstone House Pioneer Close Wath-upon-Dearne Rotherham S63 7JZ Printed by Buxton Press

IN THIS ISSUE 04 06 08 12 16 20 24 28 30 32 36 38 42 44 46 48

Overcoming indifference Saving rural lives A room for everyone Justice for Eve An expression of faith in a tangible way Will the light go out? An end to violence Hope amid squalor Are we really willing to tackle climate change? The cost of a coffee There for the vulnerable A sustainable living Time to recognise rights and dignity From Cheshire with love We need action on mental health services A better and brighter future JUSTICE MAGAZINE 03


Comment: Papal message

Tony Magliano reflects on the Pope’s message for the World Day of Peace

Overcoming indifference DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT a “globalisation of indifference,” Pope Francis, in his 2016 World Day of Peace message titled Overcome Indifference and Win Peace, warns that “the first kind of indifference in human society is indifference to God, which then leads to indifference to one’s neighbour and to the environment”. Pope Francis writes: “Some people prefer not to ask questions or seek answers; they lead lives of comfort, deaf to the cry of those who suffer. “Almost imperceptibly, we grow incapable of feeling compassion for others and for their problems; we have no interest in caring for them, as if their troubles were their own responsibility, and none of our business.” To help reverse this indifference, the Holy Father appeals to national leaders for concrete gestures in the creation of “dignified jobs to combat the social plague of unemployment. Special attention needs to be given to women – who unfortunately still encounter discrimination in the workplace – and to some categories of workers whose conditions are precarious or dangerous, and whose pay is not commensurate to the importance of their social mission”. A very good way to respond to Pope Francis’ concerns here would be to visit the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights (www.globallabourrights. org/) to learn more about what you can do to help correct many of these injustices. Regarding migrants, Pope Francis asks that legislation on migration “reflect a readiness to welcome migrants and to facilitate their integration”. With emergency crises throughout the world, the Pope’s call for welcome and integration should inspire those of us who live in safety and comfort to urge governments – with solid vetting processes in place – to generously offer hospitality to suffering refugees. On prison reform, Francis reminds societies that rehabilitation of criminal offenders needs to be an essential goal of penal systems. And here he emphasises: “I would like once more to appeal to governmental authorities to abolish the death penalty where it is still in force.” The Pope added this threefold appeal 04 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Pope Francis urged world leaders to refrain from drawing nations into conflict. Photo: Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk to the leaders of nations: “To refrain from drawing other peoples into conflicts or wars which destroy not only their material, cultural and social legacy, but also – and in the long term – their moral and spiritual integrity; to forgive or manage in a sustainable way the international debt of the poorer nations; and to adopt policies of cooperation which, instead of bowing before the dictatorship of certain ideologies, will respect the values of local populations and, in any case, not prove detrimental to the fundamental and inalienable right to life of the unborn.” With an increased commitment to non-violent conflict resolution strategies, an end to the arms trade, multilateral disarmament, deep cuts in military spending, abolishing nuclear weapons, fair trade practices, significant increases in domestic and foreign poverty-focused spending, cancelling the remaining

“debt” of poor nations (who in many cases have already paid back the original amount borrowed), and the elimination of funding to organisations that provide and/or promote abortion, leaders of nations could demonstrate concrete ways of honouring Pope Francis’ appeal for overcoming indifference and winning peace. While thanking and encouraging people of all ages who undertake works of solidarity, and who generously help those in need – near and far – Pope Francis offers the wonderful consolation of Jesus: that their hunger and thirst for justice will be satisfied, their mercy will lead them to find mercy and, as peacemakers, they will be called children of God (Mt 5:6-9). Tony Magliano is an internationally syndicated social justice and peace columnist.


Make sure these three remain Writing a will is a wonderful way to provide for the people and causes you love. By leaving a gift to CAFOD, alongside family and friends, you can be sure your faith and values will live on. Your legacy could be clean water, education, shelter, healthcare, training or emergency aid for some of the world’s poorest people. To find out more and receive a copy of our will-making guide, call Hannah on 020 7095 5367, email legacy@cafod.org.uk or visit cafod.org.uk/legacy

Leave the gift of faith, hope and love for all of God’s children.

The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and part of Caritas International. Charity no 1160384 and a company limited by guarantee no 09387398.

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Feature: Legacies

Hannah Caldwell on how people’s legacies support CAFOD in its vital work in Nicaragua

Saving rural lives IN A REMOTE rural area of Nicaragua, 70-year-old Basilia Centeno is making her way to work. The petite figure strides along these steep and uneven roads to start the first of many visits she will make today. Basilia is a volunteer health worker – a brigadista, as they’re known in Nicaragua. She has dedicated her life to protecting the health of women, men and children here in the isolated mountain villages surrounding the small town of Terrabona – more than two-and-ahalf-hours north of the country’s capital, Managua. Four years ago, the closest medical facility for the women here in Terrabona was three hours’ walk away, along a steep road that’s often blocked by landslides and rock falls. A nurse visited the area once a month, but if anyone fell ill between these visits, seeking medical help

As one of her many duties, Basilia is known and loved by many as the local birth attendant

meant venturing along this dangerous route, which was not always possible. So the work of Basilia and her fellow brigadistas not only saves lives, but takes courage. As one of her many duties, Basilia is known and loved by many as the local birth attendant. In her four decades of service, she has delivered many children; usually on her own and without even the most basic medical equipment, let alone a ready supply of water and towels. 06 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Health visitors help the community stay healthy and prevent the spread of disease Photo: CAFOD She told us: “I feel really happy when a new child is born. At every birth I save two lives: a mother’s and a child’s. I support the mum and baby for 40 days after the birth. I wash their clothes and look after the baby. I make sure his or her umbilical cord is healthy.” It’s particularly rare for women in the remote rural area that Basilia covers to see a medical professional. In addition to the geographical isolation, the local tradition that new mums and babies be confined for a period of 40 days means it’s hard to overstate just how much responsibility Basilia bears for the lives in her care; but it’s a responsibility she bears gladly.

“I feel really happy to see these babies grow up. The mums tell their children: ‘She is the midwife who brought you into this world.’ That’s what gives me motivation to continue: The gratitude and seeing families grow up.” Basilia and her fellow brigadistas, many of whom are women with very little, play a vital role in local health education. Walking from village to village, they spread awareness of good hygiene measures, food and nutrition, childcare, malaria prevention and how to treat common ailments and injuries. They are also key when it comes to warning local communities about epidemics such as dengue fever. The volunteers are trusted


and save the lives of family members, friends and neighbours for generations to come. Four years later, treating more than 1,700 patients a month, including 270 children, the clinic is “a dream come true” in Basilia’s words. One of the great achievements for the clinic staff and the brigadistas was to stop an aggressive outbreak of dengue fever that hit the area in 2013 by alerting local people to the symptoms and treating suspected cases early. In this way, they avoided the fatalities of the previous outbreaks. The kind of work made possible by Basilia, her fellow brigadistas and the John XXIII Institute is replicated by other partners and other incredible rural women around the world, and your support is helping them to grow stronger. As we spoke to Basilia about the difference the health clinic makes, it was clear she felt this would be part of her legacy. She told us: “Even when I have died, this clinic will serve my children and grandchildren.” CAFOD’s work is made possible only by the support of the Catholic community in England and Wales, and we

Basilia has been a community health volunteer and midwife for more than 40 years Photo: CAFOD and respected by villagers, which is vital because these people are isolated and could otherwise struggle to access care and information. As part of an ongoing partnership, CAFOD and our partner the John XXIII Institute helped Basilia and volunteers from 12 local communities to build a health clinic in the spring of 2012. With CAFOD’s support, the institute was able to supply the materials, tools

and a small team of professional builders to train and supervise local volunteers. CAFOD staff and supporters visited the clinic two weeks into the construction. The external walls were already up and those not strong enough to build were helping out by fetching sand and water, or making lunch for the workers. There was a real understanding among all the volunteers, Basilia included, that this clinic would improve

One of the great achievements for the clinic staff and the brigadistas was to stop an aggressive outbreak of dengue fever

are blessed by a number of friends who decide to remember our work through a gift in their will. These special gifts fund around an eighth of our work, and we are humbled and honoured by this sign of faith in our mission. If, like Basilia, you’re thinking about how you can make the world a better place for future generations, why not get in touch to find out more about leaving a gift to CAFOD in your will? We are incredibly grateful for the kindness and solidarity shown through the many faithful donations, gifts in wills, prayers and actions of our sisters and brothers here in the UK. Without them, we wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be supporting Basilia and the thousands of women like her around the world. Thank you so much for your support. JM To find out more about leaving a gift to CAFOD in your will contact Hannah on 020 7095 5367 or email legacy@cafodorg.uk JUSTICE MAGAZINE 07


Feature: Homelessness

Caroline Grogan of Caritas Social Action Network on the housing crisis and Homeless Sunday

A room for everyone THIS CHRISTMAS I decided to spend time volunteering at Crisis’ day centre in Homerton, East London as I’ve wanted to make some small gesture to help ease the blight of homelessness for some time now. There I saw many wounded people displaying chaotic behaviour, who I was surprised to hear had roofs over their heads, but still needed the support of the available community-led services. Many struggled with substance abuse and mental health problems. These complex problems are often caused or exacerbated by homelessness, which can occur for myriad reasons. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift from high levels of affordable social housing to the government’s focus on the Right to Buy scheme (which allows tenants of social housing to buy their properties), provoking a decline in social housing stock. The effect of a decrease in social housing means there’s more demand for the private rental and owner sectors, which pushes market prices up and leaves many people who can’t afford these prices in the position I saw on Christmas Day. It is widely accepted that 35 per cent of people’s net income is an affordable amount to spend on rent or mortgage. According to the English Housing Survey, some people find themselves forced to pay half or more of their salaries on one of the basic human rights: Right to shelter. Other government schemes such as Pay to Stay (where high income social housing tenants are forced to pay market rent prices) puts a strain on those whose incomes are already limited by 08 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

low wages, infrequent work or unstable contracts. The Office for National Statistics cites that prices are rising three times faster than wages and CSAN organisation Housing Justice cites that increment particularly impacts London most, where house prices are 46 per cent higher than pre-recession prices. According to The Joseph Rowntree Foundation, this means the number of people living in poverty, even though they work for a living, has increased because of unaffordable housing. And these people are at risk of homelessness even though they have an income. To make matters worse, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation cites there are

Lack of housing supply is another barrier to affordable housing which also contributes to homelessness, and is caused by various factors

more people on temporary contracts and in part-time work than five years ago and wages have not risen in line with inflation, the result being that people have less money to pay for already expensive housing. Lack of housing supply is another barrier to affordable housing which also contributes to homelessness, and is caused by various factors. The lack of housing has a direct relationship with house prices because

of the laws of supply and demand. For a decade it has been universally accepted that 250,000 new homes need to be built every year to keep up with demand, yet in 2013-2014 according to the ONS, only 141,000 were built. The UK government ring-fences a large portion of new builds for first-time buyers to own property, evidenced in its Help to Buy scheme (where the government loans 20 per cent of the price of a property and buyers provide a five per cent deposit and secure a mortgage for the other 75 per cent). However the government does not, in turn, invest in social housing for tenants who are priced out of these schemes and are therefore left vulnerable to a volatile private housing market. To exacerbate the lack of like-for-like social housing to replace the building of private rental or ownership properties, planning permission for new builds is expensive, cumbersome and slow. Furthermore, developers buy land in a practice known as land banking (saving the space for future development in the private rental sector and owner sectors when house prices are high). New developers are then slow to build on big sites to keep house prices high by limiting supply. There is also a myth that there is a lack of land in order to build affordable social housing. The reality is that there are limits on availability of land such as un-used green-belt in urban areas like London where affordable housing is acutely needed. According to Housing Justice, 10.6 per cent of land is built on in the UK and


Trying to survive in London Photo by Jack two per cent of it is used for housing. Professor Christine Whitehead, emeritus professor of housing at the London School of Economics, calls for green-belt space to be used intelligently for sustainable, low-cost housing. She suggests the objective of greenbelt land is to have a benefit for society. Not building on green-belt at the expense of thousands of homeless people, and those at risk of homelessness, only perpetuates the miserable existence too many people in the UK currently face. At the large end of this wedge are those who find themselves using food banks regularly and receiving energy subsidies to afford rising housing costs as the majority of their income goes on rent. We know this because our network organisations tell us about how they are on the front-lines, filling in the gaps

where the government has failed to provide for those at threat from homelessness. In 2014-2015 according to Housing Justice, 83,840 families and individuals were assessed as homeless and 7,581 were counted as rough sleepers on London’s streets alone. Housing Justice celebrated its annual Homeless Sunday event on January 24 in collaboration with Scottish Churches Housing Action by showing solidarity with people who experience homelessness in the UK. Housing Justice is a Christian organisation and one of the CSAN members that works within the Church network on Homeless Sunday to “challenge the conditions that give rise to high levels of homelessness, and to celebrate the work of the churches and others in tackling

homelessness, at all levels, particularly locally”. The objectives of the event are threefold: n To show our concern as Christians for individuals affected by homelessness. n To challenge the conditions that create homelessness. n To celebrate the work that tackles the problem. Endorsing the work of Homeless Sunday, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, Lead Church of England Bishop on Housing and Chair of Housing Justice, said: “During and following the General Election, issues around homelessness have become increasingly high profile within our nation. Questions around housing supply, affordability, and the threat of homelessness are increasingly clear. >>>10 JUSTICE MAGAZINE 09


Feature: Homelessness “Homeless Sunday gives us within the churches a very important opportunity to think, pray and act in relation to these issues. Provision of appropriate and affordable housing for all is essential for the wellbeing of society and we in the churches must play our part.” Homeless Sunday hopes to inspire Christians to spread the word about homelessness, including but not limited to on Homeless Sunday, as no one should still be suffering from this affliction in 21st century Britain. Housing Justice also recommends volunteering in night shelters as volunteers invested 231,000 hours into Christian-

led shelters in the past year according to a report they published recently. The impacts of which were that 2,171 guests were accommodated through 500 venues. One of the volunteers at a night shelter said: “Almost everybody that I have come into contact with doing this work have had their attitudes to the homeless seriously changed. “One of the problems that you come across time and time again with this sort of thing from the outside community, from the neighbours, is that they have real, real fears about the homeless – almost Conrad-ian part of darkness.”

Homeless Sunday reminded us that we should pray for those affected by the housing crisis, so people need not endure the indignity of homelessness and can have a safe and affordable place to call home. “Loving God, in your house there is room for everyone. Help us as we strive for a world where everyone has a home that truly meets their needs. Give us the grace to welcome strangers and refugees. Give us the insight to see where inequality hurts. Fill us with the courage to do our part. Save us from being overwhelmed by the scale of the housing crisis and show us, O Lord, where to begin.” JM

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In your heart In your heart In your prayers In your prayers In your Will? In your Will?

A gift in your Will A in your Will isgift a wonderful is a wonderful way of providing way of providing for the people and for the people and causes you love causes you and pray for.love and pray Alongside yourfor. family and friends, youfamily can also Alongside your helpfriends, people you in need and can by also remembering help people in your needfavourite by Catholic charities this remembering yourin favourite special way. Catholic charities in this Your Catholic special way.Legacy is a group of 26 Catholic charities working Your Catholic Legacy is a group together to share God’s love for of 26 Catholic charities working generations to come. together to share God’s love for To find out more and receive generations to come. a free prayer calendar To find out more and receive call 020 7095 5370 or email a free prayer calendar info@yourcatholiclegacy.org.uk call 020 7095 5370 or email info@yourcatholiclegacy.org.uk

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Feature: Justice system

One of Britain’s most-well known jails, Holloway Prison, is being sold off and turned into 5,000 new homes. Dr Gemma Simmonds looks the closure of the jail and how the justice system has failed women

Justice for Eve BARONESS HELENA KENNEDY famously called her landmark study of women in prison Eve was Framed. While this might not be true of all women in British prisons today, a strong case can be made that the incarceration of many of them has more to do with the way in which society seeks to punish socially or psychologically delinquent women than with crime per se. It would be good to think that the Government’s decision to close HMP Holloway is based on the realisation that imprisoning women for non-violent crimes is counter-productive in every way. But I am not that much of an optimist. Chris Tchaikovsky, former prisoner and co-founder of the national charity, Women in Prison (WIP), wrote: “Taking the most hurt people out of society and punishing them in order to teach them how to live within society is, at best, futile. Whatever else a prisoner knows, she knows everything there is to know about punishment because that is exactly what she has grown up with. Whether it is childhood sexual abuse, indifference, neglect; punishment is most familiar to her.” One of the great strengths of the Church is that, in contrast to most secular discourse, it balances language about sin and punishment with language about reconciliation and redemption. But how is this to be brought effectively into the public arena? Baroness Jean Corston, in a hard-hitting report commissioned by the Home Office and released in 2007, noted that many women within the criminal justice system have histories of trauma, poverty and crisis determined by domestic violence and disrupted relationships. 12 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Combine this with mental illness, substance misuse and the social isolation engendered by under-employment, and the result is chaotic lifestyles and antisocial behaviour to which prison seems the obvious answer. Yet most often it compounds the problem and sets off cycles of re-offending and worsening psychological and relational damage. In the absence of sufficient psychiatric provision in the public health system, a variety of supportive networks is required. Some of these, such as WIP or the Fawcett Society, already exist. The Catholic Church offers sustained support through its excellent chaplaincy provision, the Prison Advice and Care Trust and through the commitment of many individuals and groups who work in support of women in prison and their families.

Tabloid rage against Myra Hindley, Rosemary West and Maxine Carr has tended to be more viciously expressed than that against their male partners in crime

The Church speaks eloquently about the position of women within society in its official teaching. In his encyclical, Mulieris Dignitatem, Pope John Paul II described the violation of God-given gender equality as “a break and a constant threat” to the imago Dei

which diminishes the dignity of both sexes. Yet still lingering are the remnants of a scriptural background, in which women are punished far more harshly for adultery and prostitution than men and where women are scapegoated for the sins of the world, 1 Timothy 2:11-15 being a case in point.


HMP Holloway in London Photo: Historic England

Tabloid rage against Myra Hindley, Rosemary West and Maxine Carr has tended to be more viciously expressed than that against their male partners in crime. This may be a back-handed compliment, in that it implies an expectation that women will be more nurturing and less violent than men.

But it also adds to the unconscious hostility towards delinquent women that Kennedy discussed in Eve was Framed. Likewise, The Corston Report pointed to a prison system designed largely for men which fails to recognise in its structures the fact that the biological difference between men and women has different social and personal consequences.

Most women do not commit crime. Women with histories of violence and abuse are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and could justifiably be described as victims as well as offenders. Proportionately more women than men are remanded in custody – at massive cost to the taxpayer. Drug >>>14 JUSTICE MAGAZINE 13


Economist Vicky Pryce has argued that the cost of jailing women is more than £50,000 a year Photo: Policy Exchange addiction plays a huge part in all offending and this is disproportionately the case with women, whose mental health problems are more acute in the prison population. Nationally, men are more likely to commit suicide than women but this trend is reversed in prison, with women also self-harming in far higher numbers. Male prisoners retain family ties through the commitment of their female partners and family members. Women prisoners and their children are more likely to be abandoned and to suffer the permanent breakdown of their significant relationships while inside, a factor weighing heavily on their mental health. Corston stated: “Women must never be sent to prison for their own good, to teach them a lesson, for their own safety or to access services such as detoxification”, yet many have been imprisoned for these very reasons. Thirty per cent of women in custody have had a psychiatric admission before coming to prison, 37 per cent having previously attempted suicide. The statistics regarding violence and abuse are not much better; up to half of women in prison report having experienced violence at home, compared with a quarter of men. One in three have suffered sexual abuse, and around 70 per cent coming into custody require clinical detoxification, compared with 50 per cent of men. Repeated reports confirm that prison is not working for women. Clearly, there are some who are a danger 14 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

to the public and who have to be restrained for the protection of society at large. But these are very few. More than half of women leaving prison will be reconvicted within a year; among those on sentences of less than 12 months, this rises to 62 per cent. Given that roughly a quarter of female inmates have no previous conviction, sending them to prison increases, rather than decreases, the probability of re-offending again.

Women prisoners and their children are more likely to be abandoned and to suffer the permanent breakdown of their significant relationships

Vicky Pryce, imprisoned in Holloway for perverting the course of justice after a case involving her Cabinet minister exhusband Chris Huhne’s driving penalties, calculates in her 2013 book Prisonomics that keeping a woman in jail for one year costs more than £50,000, while an equivalent community sentence costs around £1,300. If state care of children is involved, this can rise from an extra £40,000 to £500,000 over 20 months, depending on the child’s care needs. If

1,000 of today’s nearly 4,000 imprisoned women were given alternative sentences, Pryce estimates savings for government of at least £12 million a year. That might underwrite more effective psychiatric health provision and drug prevention quite helpfully. A recent report by Sheffield Hallam University on the effectiveness of the Sycamore Tree programme for restorative justice showed that, after attending the programme, female participants score higher in their perception of their offending behaviour, their ability and willingness to face their problems and their regard for their victims. Male offenders, however, show a larger shift in anticipation of not committing future offences. Perhaps the men are more optimistic, or perhaps the women know they will be on their own in dealing with the root causes of their problems. As Holloway is sold off and the site redeveloped for housing, it may be a moment to question whether we need more punishment or more effective social interventions to tackle women’s problems at root. Only then will we stop Eve being framed. JM Dr Gemma Simmonds is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus and a senior lecturer at Heythrop College, University of London. This article is adapted from her Harold Hood Lecture, which is available at prisonadvice.org.uk/ haroldhoodlecture2015


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Feature: Carmelites

Miranda Litchfield on the vital work being carried out around the world by the Society of the Little Flower

An expression of faith in a tangible way THE SOCIETY OF the Little Flower in the UK developed in response to the phase of expansion the Carmelite Order experienced in the latter part of the twentieth century. The Order moved in to many countries where it had not been before: Bolivia, Mexico, El Salvador, Lithuania, Ukraine, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Vietnam. Former Prior General, Most Rev Joseph Chalmers O.Carm., recognised that that those provinces which had in the past provided funds for missions, sponsoring them in different ways, no longer had enough resources to meet their own needs and those of the missions. With this in mind, he wrote to various Carmelites around the world to ask their advice about how the General Curia of the Order could ensure that they would be able to continue to fund these very important activities. The response he received from Carmelites in the USA was very encouraging. A Carmelite founded and managed organisation known as The Society of the Little Flower had existed there for many years with a two-fold purpose: To spread devotion to St Thérèse, the Little Flower, and to raise funds for the pastoral activities of the Carmelites. He was offered the possibility of establishing another similar society to spread this devotion more widely and to raise funds for the many and growing missionary activities. The Little Flower teaches us that in God’s sight no action is too small or insignificant if it is done with love; Carmelites try to spread this insight in their 16 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

work all over the world; anyone can support and help this mission and no matter how small that support may seem, God sees the love with which it is offered. St Thérèse of Lisieux is one of the most popular saints in the Church precisely because she understood the need to spread the basic intuition that love is at the heart of the Church. People understand this message very readily, but they also want the opportunity to express their faith in a concrete and tangible way and supporting Carmelite missions is an excellent way of doing this. Since the Society’s inception in 2002, the Curia has received and distributed about six million euros to various missions around the world. Some activities, such as the mission in Mozambique or the Latin General Delegation in India have received almost all their funding from the Little Flower; others have received an initial injection of money and have then become more financially independent; others still have been able to send students to study abroad thanks to the generosity of Little Flower donors. The projects the grants fund are many and varied. The Carmelite nuns in Machakos, Kenya received funding for a host-making machine. The house in Machakos opened in 2004 with just four nuns from Spain and two young “juniors”. In the space of five years, the community grew to more than 20 sisters, almost all local vocations from Kenya. Obviously such a large community requires many resources and the sisters work hard to support themselves. >>>18


The society places a great deal of importance on its work in education

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Feature: Carmelites One of the ways in which they do so is by manufacturing hosts for the celebration of Mass, and the Society was able to donate a professional host-making machine which has greatly improved their efficiency and output. The group of women affiliated to the Order Donum Dei work in a variety of mission areas and in many cases are involved in the catering businesses. There are restaurants in places as far afield as Rome, Lima and Saigon noted for their cuisine. In Kenya the group has decided to set up a catering business and a catering school. The Curia made a small grant in order to buy a professional cake mixer which could serve both students in the college and the chefs in the catering company. This donation is an excellent example of helping a mission to reach self-sufficiency by means of a small, but well-targeted, donation whose impact goes far beyond the monetary value of the equipment. The Carmelites in St Thomas Province in India gained status as a full province in the Order in 2007, and since then have undertaken a remarkable range of activities in social and spiritual ventures. Grants from the Society were used

It is very difficult to convince the parents of the drop out children about the importance of education

in Andra Pradesh and in the Carmelite house “Bahvan”. The director of the Mount Carmel School in Andra wrote: “Our mission areas is the home of hundreds of child labourers and school dropouts. “According to a recent survey of the government the number of out of school children in the district is 69,868 of which 43,000 are girl children. “Here we aimed at bridge courses, remedial courses and back-to-school camps with a focus on mainstreaming out of school children in to regular schools. It is very difficult to convince the parents of the drop-out children about the importance of education and social awareness due to their illiteracy. Usually they make use of their elder children to look after the smaller ones. “We are sending our mobilisers to make them aware of education…. “Our community consists of three fathers and two brothers. Among them 18 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Members of the novitiate one father is engaged in pastoral activities and others are working in the school and we are giving free service in the school. “Only this year we got the recognition from government for our high school. Various infrastructures were needed for getting the recognition of the high school such as library books, science lab, furniture, toilet facilities and qualified teachers in respective subjects. It makes a lot of financial burden for us. So it was a great help for us to make use the money for the same purpose.” In East Timor, the Australian province receives financial support from the Society for work undertaken by friars and nuns in the seminary, parishes, medical centres and schools. In Zumalai there are both primary and junior high schools, and work has recently been completed on a boarding block for high school boys. In 2014 the Society funded 10 postgraduate students and from the autumn,

12 students, along with two Indian undergraduate students, will study in Italy. The students come from a number of Carmelite provinces in the developing world: Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, India, Brazil and Poland. The Carmelite Curia supports this number of students because it believes very strongly that giving a good education to friars from these areas is the best investment for the future. Well-trained Carmelites can work within the Order on internal formation and educational programmes without having to draw on outside and often expensive expertise. Additionally, the men who obtain advanced degrees can work in universities, colleges and seminaries providing a good source of external income for their communities. In East Timor, the Hermanas Carmelitas sisters have received support for their university academic and medical studies. The nuns’ monastery of Burgos (Philippines) is responsible for the training of 12 young Vietnamese women who will eventually return to their country and establish monasteries locally. In Zimbabwe, the Society has agreed to support the education of four sisters attending university in Harare. They are studying a range of subjects which will qualify the sisters to work as teachers or social workers. Their General Superior, Sr Evelyn Kadzere, writes: “Had it not been for the help from the Society of the Little Flower, it would have been practically impossible for the four sisters to undertake university studies at the same time. “It is the hope of the leadership team that ths sisters wil continue to be strong missionaries even as they have demonstrated during their period of study and bring St Thérèse the Little Flower’s longing for the spread of Jesus’ mission to fulfilment.” One of the most important truths about the Church is that we are all called to be missionaries. This doesn’t mean that we have to travel to far-off countries but we can all pray for and support the work of those that do. Like the Little Flower, we can offer up each day our struggles and disappointments, our efforts to be good Christians and our experiences of God’s grace. Thérèse understood very well that our life can be turned to God’s purpose and His will. The contribution the Society of the Little Flower is able to make to the Carmelite missions is the consequence of the love, prayers and financial sacrifices of its members, translating faith into action. JM


One Body, One Spirit

One Body, One Spirit

Columbans in Korea at their annual gathering – a diverse, inter-cultural community united by their call to mission.

Columbans in Korea at their annual gathering – a diverse, inter-cultural community united by their call to mission.

Columban Missionaries

Columban Missionaries Together we share in God’s compassionate outreach to all

Together we share in God’s compassionate outreach ‘Our mission as Christians is to conform ourselvesto all evermore to Jesus as the model for our lives’

Pope Francis

‘Our mission as Christians is to conform ourselves evermore to Jesus as the model for ourEnquiries lives’ For the Columban Fathers, Lay Missionaries and General St. Columban’s, Widney Manor Road, Solihull B93 9AB Pope Francis Tel: 01564 772096 E-mail: office@columbans.co.uk

For the Columban (Sr. Maureen Donohoe) For the Columban Fathers,Sisters Lay Missionaries and General Enquiries 209St. Quebec Drive, Westwood, East Kilbride, Scotland 8BB Columban’s, Widney Manor Road, SolihullG75 B93 9AB Tel: 013552 38312 E-mail: colsisek@btinternet.com Tel: 01564 772096 E-mail: office@columbans.co.uk

For the Columban Sisters (Sr. Maureen Donohoe) www.columbans.co.uk www.columbansisters.org

209 Quebec Drive, Westwood, East Kilbride, Scotland G75 8BB


Feature: Faith under attack

Christianity could disappear from Iraq by 2020, reports Clare Creegan, but the Middle East is not the only place where Christians live in constant fear

Will the light go out? LED ALONG THE sandy edge of a Libyan shoreline, 21 men walked to their deaths. With the pressure of their captors’ hands on their shoulders, they knelt on the beach, their backs to the sea and waited to be killed. When a video was released purporting to show the execution of the men – all of them Egyptian Coptic Christians – it shocked the world. Later, there came more distressing images showing the men’s grieving families – tight-knit farming communities torn apart. In the days that followed the atrocity, in February 2015, the Egyptian government declared seven days of mourning and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II announced the Church would recognise the men killed by the Islamic terrorist group Daesh (ISIS) as martyrs. Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need’s new report examining the persecution of Christians highlights that in 13 out of the 22 countries examined the situation has worsened since 2013. Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their faith 2013-2015 revealed that the situation for many Christians in countries of concern including Nigeria, North Korea, Syria and Iraq, has deteriorated. The principal findings of the report showed that the Church’s survival in parts of Africa and the Middle East are threatened by religiously-motivated ethnic cleansing carried out by extremist Islamist groups, driving Christian communities out of their ancient biblical heartland. This massive exodus could mean that Christianity is on course to disappear from Iraq potentially within five years. 20 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

In China and North Korea, totalitarian regimes and crackdowns on the faithful in other communist societies has put pressure on Christian groups. Evidence suggests Christians are targeted because of their alleged links with the West, which is seen as corrupt and exploitative by such regimes. Time and time again, ACN is asked by bishops, priests and project partners of the 140 countries ACN works with to highlight the plight of suffering Christians around the world. ACN’s Persecuted and Forgotten? 2013-2015 report revealed

Sadly, the execution of the 21 men killed in Libya is not an isolated incident

that Islamist groups had carried out a religiously-motivated ethnic cleansing of Christians in parts of Africa and the Middle East. The mass exodus of Christians from Iraq meant that the number of faithful fell to about 275,000 with at least half internally displaced. The Christian population has been haemorrhaging from Iraq at a rate of between 60,000 and 100,000 a year since the rate of decline in 2002 from 1 million, to less than 300,000 today. Sadly, the execution of the 21 men killed in Libya is not an isolated incident. Extremist Islamist militants are increasingly turning to social media to broadcast their horrific crimes in an attempt to intimidate. However, such terrorist tactics are

A young girl holds a candle during a preparatory Mass not limited to extremists in the Middle East. In Nigeria, terrorist organisation Boko Haram has also used short films to broadcast hate speeches and acts of violence. In parts of Africa, militants attempting to impose their radical religious views on those who do not follow their vision of Islam have left many dioceses at risk of being wiped out. The Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria released figures which showed that by summer 2015, 5,000 Christians had been killed and more than 100,000 were


before Christmas at Al-Zaytoun Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Damascus, Syria. Photo: Carole Alfarah/ACN displaced as a result of repeated attacks by extremist group Boko Haram which controlled 85 per cent of the diocese at one point. The actions of Boko Haram made global headlines in April 2014 when the group kidnapped 276 mostly Christian girls during a raid on a school in Chibok, in north-east Nigeria’s Borno State. The abduction provoked international outrage and sparked an online campaign to raise awareness. Yet while such actions of individual groups are undeniably persecuting Christians, in some countries,

intolerant legislation is part of the problem. In Pakistan minority groups are at particular risk from extremists intent on abusing controversial blasphemy laws. In many cases, questionable interpretation of the laws has become the pretext to legitimise naked aggression. In Lahore, in November 2014, Christian couple Shahzad Masih and his wife Shama Bibi, who was four months pregnant, were accused of burning pages containing Quranic verses. They were beaten by a frenzied Muslim mob, dragged to the brick kiln where they

worked and burnt to death. When Christian woman Asia Bibi, a motherof-five, was accused of blasphemy, a mob advanced on her too. However the farmhand was allowed a trial rather than left to the mercy of her Muslim neighbours. She was sentenced to death in November 2010 and although she was granted a stay of execution in July 2015, she remains incarcerated. Yet these examples, while shocking, are not a fair representation of Islam. Many Christian and Muslim communities have lived peacefully in the same JUSTICE MAGAZINE 21


Feature: Faith under attack

Ghadir Daher, 12, stands on the roof of a house in his neighbourhood in Damascus, Syria. Photo: Carole Alfarah/ACN neighbourhoods for centuries and many Muslims oppose the actions of hardline individuals. In some cases Muslims themselves are persecuted by other members of their faith for not adhering to the strictest terms of Shari’a law. In countries such as Sri Lanka and India where the majority faith is Buddhism and Hinduism respectively, both Christians and Muslims face ongoing attacks by extremists of other beliefs. In India, Christians represent just 2.5 perc ent of the country’s 1.2 billion population and in period reviewed by Aid to the Church in Need’s Persecuted and Forgotten? 2013-2015 report, violence against Christians and churches rose dramatically. Concerns that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, described as a hard-line Hindu nationalist, is not doing enough to protect minorities from Hindu extremist movements since his rise to power in 2014 has increased fears from the 22 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Adama Asuma, a Muslim from Borno State, Nigeria. Boko Haram killed people in her village and she had to run for her life. Photo: ACN


Christian community in India. Localised attacks have created an atmosphere of apprehension across the country. In February 2015, several hundred Christians gathered in Delhi to protest against the destruction of their churches after five were vandalised in less than two months. In Sri Lanka nationalists who oppose people converting from Buddhism to another religion have orchestrated uprisings and have subjected Christians, Muslims and other minority faith groups to hate speeches and violence. A number of measures have also been introduced by the Religious Affairs Ministry in what has been seen as an effort to assert Buddhism and repress minority faiths. These measures include a cap on the building of places of worship and a new law which takes action against publications that insult the traditions and teachings of the country’s major religions.

Citizens in North Korea are expected to showcase their absolute loyalty to their ‘Dear Leader’

Although Christian groups have found themselves targeted by extremists from other faiths, political groups have also played a part in restricting the religious freedom of Christians. Religious organisations in former Marxist states such as Russia, Turkmenistan and Ukraine continue to face restrictive legal regulations that are becoming increasingly strict. Such organisations have been fined for meeting in public. The law concerning religious groups conducting meetings has been criticised as unclear by campaigners. Christian-run centres have also been targeted under the guise of various different regulations including ‘illegal activities’. The Exodus Pentecostal Church ran a rehabilitation centre in the Rostov-on-Don region of Russia was finally charged with ‘violations of fire and sanitation regulations’ after several unsuccessful cases of prosecutors attempting to bring action against them. Similarly, the persecution of Christians by the government is particularly harsh in North Korea. Citizens in North Korea are expected to showcase their absolute loyalty to their ‘Dear Leader’ and the Kim Dynasty which has ruled the country since 1953. Tom, a defector of North Korea who spoke to ACN under condition of

Evening prayer at the Higher Seminary in Ritapiret, Flores island, Indonesia. Photo: Magdalena Wolnik/ACN anonymity, described how anyone who is discovered to be in contact with the Church is either sent to a forced labour camp or publically executed as an example. Speaking to ACN, Tom described how he witnessed the execution of his friend’s mother who was condemned for collecting aid from a church in China. “The North Koreans executed her because she was trying to destroy our ‘communism sovereignty’. She was killed by execution in front of a lot of people; I thought that was normal in our society. I thought that was common.” Although precise figures are not available, it is estimated that at least 50,000 of the 400,000-500,000 Christians in North Korea are in the country’s notorious concentration camps. ACN’s Persecuted and Forgotten? report shows that the situation for Christians in countries of concern has been catastrophic in the period under review. According to the UN, the numbers of internally displaced people and refugees hit an all-time high of nearly 60 million. Christians are at risk from disappearing from entire regions in the Middle East and Africa as war and oppression drive them to seek a better life out of their ancestral homeland. During 2013-2015 there were many factors of concern. Attacks on religious buildings and Christian homes and businesses, political developments hindering the right to religious freedom, building permits for churches and travel permits for clergy being denied and violence against Chris-

tian groups has shocked and worried many. Offering his support for the Persecuted and Forgotten? 2013-2015 report in a letter sent to ACN, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation for “the efforts of all involved in producing this report and in keeping before the world the plight and suffering of Christians persecuted for their faith.” The Pope also called on those in positions of power to strive to eradicate religious discrimination “but also to seek ever more effective ways to promote international cooperation in order to overcome these offenses against human dignity and religious freedom.” The UK Prime Minister David Cameron also echoed ACN’s commitment to religious freedom by reiterating his position on allowing faith groups to practise their religion without fear of persecution and voicing his praise for the “crucial” work the charity is carrying out worldwide on behalf of persecuted Christians. But there is still a very long way to go until all the faithful can practise their religion without the shadow of persecution falling over them. JM Clare Creegan co-authored Aid to the Church in Need’s Persecuted and Forgotten? A report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2013–2015, which examines the oppression of Christians. It describes numerous incidents of persecution, some of which are given on these pages. To read the full report please visit www.acnuk.org/persecution JUSTICE MAGAZINE 23


Feature: Violence against women

Shelley Stromdale and Katy Oglethorpe profile Progressio’s Landmark Campaign to End Violence Against Women ONE IN THREE women have experienced violence in their lifetime. To draw attention to this global pandemic of gender-based violence, the UN encouraged the public to ‘orange their world’ during their 16 days of activism campaign, which launched on November, the International Day for the Elimination 25 of Violence Against Women, and concluded on December 10, Human Rights Day. To mark the 16 days, international Catholic development charity Progressio coordinated an arresting visual campaign using London’s most iconic landmarks as backdrops. Progressio photographed an orange outline of a woman’s body in front of 16 famous London destinations, including the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross station. From November 25 to December 10, the charity released one image a day on social media, accompanied by a fact about violence against women to raise awareness for the issue. Did you know? n 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence. n 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is not a crime. n 50 per cent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under the age of 16. n In 2012, 1 in 2 women killed worldwide were murdered by partners or family. members. This applied to only 1 in 20 of men killed. n In the UK, domestic violence leads to on average two women being killed each week. Progressio works on gender-based issues in eight countries across the world. By bringing a symbol of genderbased violence into the heart of a capital city, the charity successfully shed light on an issue that often goes undocumented, underestimated and hidden from public view. Carmen Medina is the charity’s country representative in El Salvador, which has one of the highest rates of gendermotivated murder in the world. >>>>26 24 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

An end to violence


JUSTICE MAGAZINE 25


Feature: Violence against women

No human being on this planet deserves to receive any form of violence

“This UN campaign helps to raise awareness for gender-based violence in every community, and teaches both men and women that no human being on this planet deserves to receive any form of violence,” she said. Progressio’s campaigns officer Jenny Vaughan added: “The catastrophe of gender-based violence needs the world’s urgent attention. “The UK government must do more to protect girls and women from violence through proper funding, and by encouraging other governments to implement existing international mechanisms to prevent violence.” To take action on this issue, and to support Progressio’s work with women and girls in some of the world’s poorest and most fragile communities, please visit www.progressio.org.uk/evaw JM

The gift of advocacy: A Progressio appeal Two years ago, Progressio gave villagers in northern Zimbabwe the techniques they needed to gain power over their own livelihoods. With Progressio development workers’ help, families who were previously restricted from using a nearby dam were able to negotiate with the local government to gain access at an affordable rate. The impact on their lives was considerable – it meant plentiful water for growing crops, which in turn led to better nutrition, higher yields, and higher incomes. With your help, Progressio wants to spread advocacy skills to more communities. To mark its special 75th anniversary year, a group of major donors promised to match every gift received by Progressio. That means that every donation the charity receives before February 28 will be matched pound for pound, so your gift and its impact will be doubled. To donate, visit www.progressio.org.uk or call 0207 326 2046. 26 JUSTICE MAGAZINE


Helping Uganda Schools is a UK registered charity which is committed to the education of children and young people in both Uganda and Rwanda. Buteducation education needs to start But needs to start earlyearly and our and our work with orphans in work with orphans in Uganda are part of Uganda is part of this commitment. this commitment. As we start 2016 we have been able to find enough money to pay for two-thirds of the cost of building a really nice orphanage at Ibaale near Fort Portal. It will be built in the grounds of our Good Shepherd Special Needs School which opened in 2009. HUGS Trustees, 6 The Ceal, Compstall, Stockport, Greater Manchester, SK6 5LQ Registered charity number 1098176 Charity unique code QAQ87ZG

We need to raise about ÂŁ10,000 this year in order to finish this work and give the children and babies the sort of home that everyone is entitled to.

Can you help?

Donations can be made through our Virgin Money Giving site. Find it on Google and visit www.helpingugandaschools.org All donor money goes to our projects and none is spent on travel, overheads or administration


Feature: Migration

Ben Bano of Seeking Sanctuary on the Calais camp

Life in the jungle

THE SQUALID CONDITIONS in what is known as the ‘jungle’ just 20 miles away from the UK, across the Channel, have been with us for the last few years. In fact, conditions were even worse in makeshift camps in and around Calais before the ‘jungle’ was set up as a “tolerated zone” by the French authorities. And yet it has only been in the last few months that interest in the jungle has been heightened, as the desperate attempts to get to England received publicity. Conditions in the jungle are squalid to say the least - there are a very few toilets, few washing points and the potential for disease is rife. To obtain a meal at the distribution centre it is necessary to queue for up to three hours. In fact, as Peter Sutherland of the UNHCR recently pointed out, conditions are far worse in Calais than in other 28 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Conditions in the jungle are squalid to say the least - there are a very few toilets, few washing points and the potential for disease is rife

refugee camps elsewhere in the world. It is a reflection on the dismal sanitary conditions in the jungle that a group with which we work has recently felt obliged to bring large quantities of basic medical supplies, including 500 bottles of lotion for head lice. Trench foot, a condition experienced in the First World War, is now increasing

because of the muddy conditions and unsuitable footwear. The medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres receives up to 300 people at its daily clinics. Throughout winter the conditions have been even more challenging. An additional 1,500 places under cover in containers are planned, but there are worrying rumours that the French authorties intend to close the camp to the remaining 5,000 to 6,000 people by the end of March. And the scale of human tragedy continues. To our knowledge about 25 young people have lost their lives this year in attempts to get to the UK – and it is our intention they should be properly remembered in a memorial over the next year. Many will have had few people or even no-one to remember and mourn for them as members of their families may also have died in Syria and other warzones.


Yet there are many signs of hope. There is a thriving ‘local economy’ where shops and restaurants have sprung up. The beautiful Eritrean Church provides a quiet spot where Eritreans can worship together. When I was last there I was shown a Bible study group where mothers were teaching their children. There is now a library in place and even a theatre where volunteers from theatres in London and elsewhere are working with migrants to ensure that their vibrant cultural traditions are sustained and developed. People from a variety of organisations – often spontaneous Facebook groups – are helping in many ways. A recent trip by a group in Tunbridge Wells was supported by donations of £7,000 and provided much needed essential goods. A Church in Basildon raised £7,000 to supply much needed medicines, including (to our shame) hundreds of bottles of lotions for head lice and scabies. Numerous volunteers are found their way to Calais to assist in the humanitarian efforts,whether for a few days or a few weeks. Faith communities have been particularly active from all over England and Wales. Many people would just like to visit the ‘jungle’ and we are happy to provide advice and contacts on how this can be done in a safe and sensitive way. Many of those in the camp do not want to be just recipients of charity – they are happy to talk and share their experiences and to be treated as equals rather than just objects of charity - this helps to restore their feelings of dignity. If you or your organisation would like to make a financial contribution, we can advise on projects which we know will ensure that the aid reaches those in need as soon as possible And above all our politicians and decision-makers need to be lobbied to seek other solutions and to work with the French in improving conditions. So far the UK Government has spent millions – but on razor wire fences. An access point in Calais to enable people to claim asylum in the UK might, if operated fairly, prevent some of the desperate and life threatening attempts to cross the Channel. The UK Government is committed to taking 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps in Lebanon, but equally there are many Syrian refugees much nearer us whose plight is being ignored. As I write this at my home in Kent, just 30 miles from Calais, we are being hit by torrential rain. I shudder to think about the effects of this on an already

The ‘jungle’ migrant camp in Calais Photos: Sarah Williams

waterlogged area in the ‘jungle’. As thousands of vulnerable people continue to eke out a precarious existence we are getting reports the French government is taking limited action to support more tolerable living conditions, for example through providing converted containers in Calais as well as heated tents for those near Dunquerque. While some of these reports are unconfirmed we support any attempts to make the lives of migrants on the

A Church in Basildon raised £7,000 to supply much needed medicines, including (to our shame) hundreds of bottles of lotions for head lice and scabies

French coast more tolerable and we are saddened by the many UK politicians and others who condemn these initiatives as providing a means of motivating migrants to cross the Channel and as a ‘second Sangatte’. Above all we need to ensure that in our focus on justice, the many thousands of mainly young people living in appalling conditions so near to our shores are not forgotten. JM There are substantially more than 6,000 migrants in Calais at the time of writing and more nearby. Seeking Sanctuary aims to raise awareness about this situation and is organising basic humantarian assistance through faith communities and community organisations in partnership with the experienced aid agency Secours Catholique. For further information on how you or your organisation can help, contact Ben Bano on 07887 651117 or Phil Kerton on 01474 873802. JUSTICE MAGAZINE 29


Feature: Climate

There’s still a long way to go to protect our environment, despite the agreement in Paris to cut emissions, reports Paul Donovan

Are we really willing to tackle climate change? THE AGREEMENT OF 195 countries gathered together in Paris last December to address climate change was the first real concrete reaction from world leaders to the Pope’s ground-breaking encyclical Laudato Si, published last June, which called for humanity to protect “our common home.” The Pope welcomed the “historic” agreement but then went on to warn it was only the start, the real test would come over implementation of the goals agreed. “Its implementation will require unanimous commitment and generous dedication from everyone,” said Pope Francis. It has been these questions of commitment and implementation that have thrown up the biggest questions in the months since those euphoric days in Paris. The commitments of individual nations thus far would still lead to global warming of 3.5 per cent, way above the targeted level of 1.5 per cent. What is more, the behaviour of the British Government raises serious questions over what sort of commitment some nations may really have to taking the measures required to cut global warming. The main achievement of the UN sponsored Paris Climate Agreement was that 195 nations came together and agreed that climate change was a major danger to the future of the world and something needs to be done about it. Big deal, those might say, who have recognised the damage being done across the world as a result of climate change over recent years. This has seen changing weather patterns, bringing more extremes of weather such as flooding, drought and tornados. The most recent example in this country has been the terrible floods in the north of Britain. The agreement reached in Paris saw nations recognising the need to keep the warming of the planet to no more than 2 degrees, with an ambition to stay 30 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

at 1.5 degrees or under. The individual nations’ commitment to limiting carbon emissions come under the Nationally Determined Contribution , which at present levels will see warming levels of 2.7 to 3.5 degrees, causing much damage. So there is a lot to be done. The financial commitments made in Paris mean that developed countries are pledging £65 billion a year to developing countries in order that they can develop, without destroying the planet. The need for the funding is most easily illustrated with the case of India, whose government is seeking to ensure access for the 300 million of its 1.2 billion population who lack electricity. The cheapest way to ensure such access is via coal powered power stations, which emit high levels of carbon dioxide.

The behaviour of the British Government raises serious questions over what sort of commitment some nations may really have to taking the measures required to cut global warming

So in order for India to develop in a way that is environmentally-sustainable, using renewable technologies, rather than the damaging fossil fuel coal, extra funding subsidy will be needed. Indeed, according to scientists, 80 per cent of the fossil fuels, like coal and gas, that exist around the world need to remain in the ground if the Paris targets are to have any chance of being met. The Paris agreement also includes stipulations that see participants review-

ing and ratcheting up their commitment to reduce emissions every five years – this will mean increasing the financial commitments of developed to developing nations. Signficantly, in the second half of the century, the commitments see nations moving to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, not just ensuring that what is already there is not added to as at present. There are many perceived problems with the Paris Climate Agreement, such as the exclusion of areas like aviation, agriculture and shipping, which all contribute large amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Critics also highlight the lack of agreement on an international global tax on greenhouse gas emissions, while pointing out that there is no attempt being made to cut subsidies to the damaging fossil fuels. It is estimated that one-third of emissions between 1980 and 2010 were driven by such subsidies. So the feeling on the agreement generally is that it was good in expressing the collective will of the world to address climate change, but lacking somewhat in binding criteria. Strong on rhetoric but weak on the actuality. Perhaps the potential weakness of the agreement can be illustrated by a look at the recent behaviour of the British government. Prime Minister David Cameron went to Paris making powerful pronouncements on the dangers of climate change, asking “what we would have to say to our grandchildren if we failed?” The PM boasted that: “Britain is already leading the way in work to cut emissions and help less developed countries cut theirs and this global deal now means that the whole world has signed to play its part in halting climate change.” But then he returns to the UK, where he slashes subsidies to the emerging renewables energy market, while agree-


A participant in London’s climate change march holds up a placard ahead of the COP21 Paris Climate Conference. Photo: Alisdare Hickson

ing to support fracking for shale gas across the UK and the flagging nuclear industry. The UK also provides £6billion in subsidy to fossil fuels. Ever since coming to power last May, the government has seemed determined to destroy the renewable energy sector in the UK. First, it removed subsidy support from one of the cheapest forms of renewable energy - on shore wind turbines. Then it announced that there would be 87 per cent cuts in subsidy to solar panels. More than 500,000 households now generate their energy from this source. In the event, following much lobbying, the government agreed that the cut would be 65 per cent to the subsidies for solar. It also admitted that the cuts could see 18,700 jobs lost out of the 32,000 jobs in the industry. This all came at a time when renewable sources of energy provided 25 per cent of electricity last year. By contrast, the government has bent over backwards to help both the nuclear and fracking industries. While it taps into the austerity agenda to justify cutting renewable subsidy, no such criteria applies to nuclear power. The nuclear industry has never operated without subsidy in its 60 year history. So the government has no problem paying out £25 billion to develop a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, with a guarantees that £92.50 per unit of electricity – more than double the present price - will be paid for the first 35 years of operation. Hinkley will supply seven per cent of the UK electricity requirement but

will not be up and running for another 15 years. The Chinese government will take the lead role on Hinkley, as well as additional nuclear plants at Bradwell and Sizewell. Then there is the fracking industry, where the government has provided tax breaks for the companies involved in exploration. It has also relaxed planning provisions, now allowing companies to frack, almost anywhere, including the national parks. This comes at a time when the Prime Minister has just committed to the need to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The rationale for the vast chasm between government rhetoric in Paris versus reality at home is difficult to fathom. Oliver Hayes, political campaigner at Friends of the Earth, sees the government plugging into its austerity agenda to justify cutting “the green crap” as Cameron so elegantly put it a couple of years ago, referring to costs on energy bills linked to sustainable developments. “He is pandering to the right of his party, that he knows hates renewables,” said Oliver. But there is also the threat that the explosion in the renewable market represents to the energy companies and their ability to make profits. Once technologies like wind turbines or solar panels are put in place they can produce energy from the sun and wind, so there is no power station that can be controlled. “You can’t package up, or control, millions with panels on their roofs in the same way as it is possible to control

power station output,” said Oliver. The great irony is that partly as a result of events in Paris, the renewable industry is likely to continue to grow internationally to the point where it is estimated within five years it will become the cheapest source of energy. At that time there will be no need for subsidy. UK consumers will flock to have these technologies fitted, the loser being British industry and workers because as a result of the government’s actions its capacity will have reduced substantially. This provides a scenario whereby the technology will be provided and installed almost entirely by foreign companies. Daisy Sands, Greenpeace’s head of energy campaign, said: “‘It’s positive that there was a deal achieved in Paris, but this historical deal will only be truly meaningful if it acts as a springboard for real action. It’s high time for UK government to follow through their pledge with concrete action. “Right now, the UK’s energy policy is out of synch with the government’s climate rhetoric.” The contrary nature of the British government’s utterances versus its actions have been noted internationally and do nothing for the credibility of the country. The hope must be though that the other countries who have signed up in Paris do not follow a similar course, saying one thing on the world stage whilst behaving contrarily at home. This was what Pope Francis identified as a possible Achilles heal of the whole agreement. JM JUSTICE MAGAZINE 31


Feature: Brazil

Michael Sheridan of Catholic Relief Services looks at the work being done in Brazil to combat modern-day slavery

The cost of a coffee DURING THE SUMMER of 2013, Catholic Relief Services learned quite by accident that 15 coffee estates in Brazil were included in the government’s Dirty List, an official registry of farms and firms found to be profiting from what the country’s laws define as modern-day slavery. We turned for insight to a long-time CRS partner in São Paulo called Repórter Brasil, a non-profit organisation led by a famous Brazilian journalist that reports on labour issues. We asked his organisation to help CRS with four aims: understand what constitute slave labour on coffee plantations in Brazil; estimate the scope of the problem; identify root causes and risk factors; and trace coffee from plantations employing slave labour, identifying the specific commercial channels into which coffee grown on plantations cited with slave labour violations is being sold. The Atlantic slave trade left a ruinous legacy everywhere, but in the Americas, perhaps no country was more affected than Brazil. During a ghastly period of more than 300 years, estimates suggest that somewhere between four and five million slaves were delivered to its shores by slave traders – more than one-third of all Africans dragged to the Americas. When Brazil finally abolished slavery in 1888, it was the last country in the Americas to do so. Today it is home to the largest population of Afro-descendants outside the continent of Africa. So while the “s-word” may painful everywhere, it touches a nerve that is especially raw in Brazil. This is why the government’s decision to enshrine the term “slavery” in the country’s legal code in 1940 was so powerful, so provocative and so controversial. 32 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Brazil’s definition and prohibition of slave labour are established in Article 149 of its Penal Code which identifies four elements of what Brazil calls “conditions analogous to slavery.” They are: Forced labour: people forced to work under threats/acts of physical or mental violence; exhausting work hours: workers subjected to workdays that go far beyond normal overtime and threaten their physical integrity; degrading conditions: people lodged in substandard housing and/or without access to appropriate equipment to protect themselves in handling and applying agrochemicals, decent food or water in the field; and debt bondage: workers are tied to labour intermediaries and/or landowners by

The Atlantic slave trade left a ruinous legacy everywhere, but in the Americas, perhaps no country was more affected than Brazil

illegal debts related to expenses on transportation, food, lodging and work equipment. Employers can be found to be “reducing someone to a condition analogous to that of a slave” if inspectors find evidence of any one of these conditions. But based on our conversations with labour auditors and our review of the inspection reports from coffee farms on the Dirty List, they rarely are. In all the cases we saw, when Brazil’s government cited employers for violating Article 149, there was evidence of at least two of the four conditions, and

often more. Brazil’s definition of slavery may be expansive, but it does not seem to be applied capriciously. The language of Brazil’s Article 149 differs in three important ways from that of the definition of forced labour enshrined in the International Labour Organization Convention No. 29, which remains the universal standard in this area. First, Article 149 uses the provocative term “slave labour” rather than the ILO term “forced labour. Second, it is more expansive than the ILO definition, including reference to degrading working conditions and exhaustive work days that do not appear in ILO conventions. Third, Article 149 does not require evidence of forced labour – an essential element of the ILO definition and most other definitions of modern-day slavery – for an employer to be included in the Dirty List. These discrepancies do not mean, however, that Brazil’s definition is incompatible with ILO standards. We asked Repórter Brasil to conduct research into modern slavery in Brazil’s coffee sector. At the time, a significant minority of legislators and a small number of governors – mostly representing rural areas that are home to large landowners – were lobbying to reduce the scope of Brazil’s definition of slavery. They wanted to amend Article 149 to eliminate references to exhausting work hours and degrading conditions, which they regard as subjective, and to bring it into closer alignment with ILO Convention No. 29. Vanity Fair recently published an article profiling the work of a CRS partner in the fight against slavery in Brazil. The author suggested that modern


Picking coffee Photo: Laura Elizabeth Pohl for CRS

slavery is endemic to rural Brazil, stating that “slavery fits naturally into the vast and brutal Brazilian countryside.” He explained: “The landowners protest that…the workers they employ are accustomed to hard lives and grateful for the jobs.” That may be true. But that doesn’t make it OK to employ people under conditions that are an affront to human dignity. Quinn Kepes of Verité has conducted research into labour conditions in the coffee sector. He characterises farmworkers in the coffeelands of Latin America as “poor, rural, less educated, less connected, less informed, disempowered, accustomed to a traditional role of subjugation and dependent on a small range of employment opportunities, mostly under substandard conditions.” They are so used to such limited and lousy options, he says, that they are grateful for whatever they can get, even when that work is degrading: “Even workers earning half the minimum wage and working well in excess of the maximum work week will not say they are dissatisfied with their working conditions because they have never known

anything different.” In other words, the fact that workers toiling under conditions of modern slavery may not necessarily consider themselves slaves doesn’t mean they aren’t. The story of modern slavery on Brazilian coffee farms often starts in far-flung communities hundreds (or even thousands) of kilometres away from those farms, where workers are recruited by labour brokers known in Brazil as gatos – workers who are generally poorly educated young men living in extreme poverty. In the case of one coffee estate found to be profiting from slave labour, some workers were transported more than 2,000 kilometres from their communities of origin to the farm where they worked. Gatos often promise one set of wages and working conditions and deliver quite another. So while workers may be “freely accepting” their offers of employment, they do so under false pretences, with a fraudulent understanding of what their work will entail, what it will pay or both. The moment workers step onto the buses that will take them to the farms, they start incurring debt, since gatos

charge workers for the trip to the work front. And the moment their leave their communities, they are cut off from the social support networks they would turn to in times of need – the distance between the farms where they work and the communities they call home is an important source of their vulnerability. Brazil’s gatos are part of a sprawling global system of labour brokerage fraught with moral hazard: Farm owners pay a flat rate to brokers to manage the entire labour function, from recruitment and transportation to oversight and lodging on the farm. Since labour brokers take home everything they don’t spend, the system creates dangerous incentives for paying workers less than the minimum wage and cutting corners on investment in lodging, sanitation and food. And it showed on the farms on the Dirty List, Brazil’s official registry of employers found to be profiting from modern slavery, many of which relied on gatos to recruit their labour forces. That is partly why Brazil’s penal code doesn’t just outlaw slavery in its Article 149, but also prohibits the kind of labour recruitment practices conducive >>> 34 JUSTICE MAGAZINE 33


Feature: Brazil to modern slavery. Article 207 forbids “Enticement of workers, with the aim of taking them from one location to another in the national territory.” The living conditions on Dirty List coffee farms were squalid: Houses with dirt floors, bedrooms with no beds or any place to store clothes, kitchen with no stoves or refrigeration to store food, houses with no running water, no rubbish bins cans and no system for dealing with solid waste. Workers cooked over open flames on the floor, slept on thin mats on dirt floors, piled their rubbish on the ground near their houses, walked to fetch water and performed basic biological functions in forests and fields. Payments were often irregular and frequently less than the amount promised to workers when they were contracted, even without accounting for the deductions for lodging, food, supplies and equipment. Some workers were not paid at all. And very few were formally registered with the Ministry of Labour as required by law. Our research also showed evidence of restrictions on worker freedom, meaning workers who realised they’d been swindled and decided to get out couldn’t do so easily. The research didn’t produce overwhelming evidence of clear root causes of modern slavery in the coffee sector, but it did suggest a few conditions that may be risk factors for modern slavery. The workers rescued from coffee farms on the Dirty List lived in grinding poverty. With little formal education, they would not have qualified for work that was more rewarding or less gruelling. Their best livelihood option – one that many had been choosing for years – was to sell their physical labour. The existence of abject poverty and large numbers of poorly educated people living in destitution is a leading risk factor for modern slavery – people desperate for opportunity are more easily exploited than those with more livelihood options. We also learned that modern slavery may be more likely on mid-sized farms than smaller or larger ones. The number of workers rescued from estates on the Dirty List ranged from six to 75. The operations were big but not massive; big enough to generate significant demand for unskilled labour but not big enough to have the kinds of mechanised operations that reduce labour demand. This observation would be consistent with 34 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Coffee grains being dried on a drier Photo: Oscar Leiva for CRS similar findings in other agricultural supply chains. The largest farms don’t just require less unskilled labour because they have some degree of mechanisation, but they are also more likely to be tied into markets that require the kinds of certifications or third-party verifications that mitigate labour risk, and more likely to have built the costs of compliance with global labour standards into their business models. The global coffee market price was hovering just above $1 per pound for much of the time Repórter Brasil was conducting its research. The market can’t be blamed for modern slavery, of course. Hundreds of thousands of other farms in Brazil – and millions more around the world – were trading coffee under similar market conditions without resorting to such practices. The blame for these violations lies with the farmers who employ workers in conditions of modern slavery, or outsource the labour function to brokers without bothering to oversee them. But a dominant price discovery mechanism that allows prices to get that low and stay there for extended periods of time isn’t helping matters. With prices at levels that are below cost of production for most farmers, even estate owners who want to do the right thing may find it hard to comply with the dictates of the law (and conscience). Coffee companies and consumers may not call these practices slavery, but I suspect they wouldn’t call them pretty.

In order to get a better sense of the scope of the problem, we asked Repórter Brasil to help us understand whether those farms contained the full universe of cases of modern slavery in the country’s coffee sector, or whether they were representative of a broader number. Their answer was something like: “We don’t know.” What we do know is that our collaboration with Repórter Brasil found no evidence to suggest that there is an epidemic of modern slavery in Brazil’s coffee sector. When we turned elsewhere for insight, we did find evidence to suggest that Brazil has the lowest incidence of modern slavery and the best record of fighting it of any coffee-growing country in the world (outside the United States). One case of modern slavery in the coffee is too much to bear. By trying to put the 15 cases on Brazil’s Dirty List into some perspective I am not apologising

Payments were often irregular and frequently less than the amount promised to workers when they were contracted

for the practice – I believe zero-tolerance is the appropriate approach to labour conditions that undermine the human dignity of workers. I am trying to estimate the scope of the problem as part of a diagnostic process: To see whether the proper prescription for the labour ills that ail Brazil’s coffee sector look more like an ounce of prevention or a pound of cure. Brazil’s fight against modern slavery has been held up as an example by labour rights advocates from Free the Slaves to the US Department of Labour to the UN’s International Labour Organization. Its effort has been ambitious (the goal is total eradication of modern slavery), courageous (websites have been hacked, activists threatened, inspectors killed), creative (prevention campaigns include radionovelas, comic strips, video games and educational materials for schools) and cross-sectoral (public, private, multilateral and non-profit sectors are all deeply engaged). Most importantly, it has been effective in generating actionable information, preventing new cases of slavery and rescuing workers who have been enslaved. JM


P leas e complete this form and return it to: Apostleship of the Sea, 39 Eccleston Square, London SW1V 1BX (Please make cheques payable to AoS)

GC N 15 JusticeFeb16


Feature: Homelessness

Kate Monkhouse reflects on the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Communities of Hospitality programme

There for the vulnerable LAST TUESDAY EVENING I bumped into one of our refugee friends on the bus. We waved at each other and settled into our seats, and after a short greeting, continued our journeys amidst other busy commuters, staring out of the window into the cold, rainy night. There wasn’t much to chat about, but it’s always nice to see someone you know in the midst of the millions of people who live in our capital city. This lady had previously been at our women’s peer support group early that afternoon at Jesuit Refugee Service, based in the east end of London. We had chatted before, she had shared with me on a previous occasion how much she valued the help provided by JRS and being part of the women’s group. That much I knew. What I did not know and found out later, is that this lady spends each night on one of London’s night buses. She has no place to sleep, so each day, like many other asylum seekers we know, she takes her chance that the bus driver will be friendly and let her rest without interruption from one end of the route to another. As a refused asylum seeker, she has no right in this country to access homelessness services, claim any benefits or work to support herself. Before Christmas, one of our volunteers bought her a coat, found some shoes to replace her flip-flops and established that another charity provide her with a locker to store some personal belongings and a safe place to wash or get ready. Each day, like most of the refugees we accompany, she will spend her time visiting different day centres, refugee charities or churches to collect a sandwich, attend an activity or find shelter. It has been wonderful over the last few months to see how people want to help after reading news headlines about refugees arriving in Europe. We have received many calls at the JRS UK office with offers of practical help, money and 36 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

The JRS centre Fotosynthesis/JRS UK 2015 donations of clothes to pass onto colleagues working in Calais or preparing receptions for Syrian refugees arriving as part of the Government’s resettlement schemes. Meanwhile at Jesuit Refugee Service, we remain deeply concerned about our own Government’s stated desire through the new Immigration Act to create a “hostile” environment for asylum seekers in the UK. This piece of legislation which is going through parliament has saddened us as it deliberately seeks to make life very hard to the extent of creating dividing lines in everyday life for those with and without recognition. Proposals include denying refused asylum-seeking families basic support for their children, including for pregnant women, while making illegal working a criminal offence in its own right. There is a mandate for landlords to check the status of tenants and occupiers or refuse accommodation and report on immigration status to the Secretary of State. And alongside this Bill, there are also separate provisions proposed to restrict access to healthcare. There are significant barriers to refugees being reunited with their families, and to unaccompanied refugee children being reconnected with their parents. It feels shameful that this framework is what our elected representatives are

planning to put in place against the backdrop of the greatest refugee crisis since the end of the Second World War – and is mismatched with the generosity and heartfelt response of much of the British public. Any effort we make through international aid to help refugees in other countries should not be at odds to how we treat people who are living in our own neighbourhoods of parishes, sharing our buses and attending our schools. Nor should we be willing to implement a framework that cuts across existing accepted human rights frameworks, such as those local authorities are held accountable to for the welfare of children. So, we will continue to care for some of the very vulnerable and destitute asylum seekers who are already here in our country. People who have come from all around the world, fleeing desperate circumstances in the hope of safety and a better life, and who, sadly, have not had their asylum claim recognised and so, because of government policy, find themselves entirely dependent on churches and charities for their daily living essentials and wellbeing. JRS will be part of a new Europeanwide programme to facilitate the setting up of “communities of hospitality”. Our hope is that these initiatives, practical embodiments of the kind of welcome we want to see. We also imagine that the kind of welcome response offered by many of our supporters who say “what can we do to help?”will counteract hostility and fear to promote care and justice instead. We will be glad to help explore ideas, offer training and support you as part of this network, so go to www.jrsuk.net and find out more. JM Kate Monkhouse is part of the staff team at JRS UK. Please consider making a donation to help asylum-seeking families and individuals who are destitute in the UK at www.jrsuk.net


Make your gift today to help families feel at home through the Jesuit Refugee Service UK

“Since I’ve been coming here, the organisation helps me, supports me. Coming here, I feel ‘at home’.” Jesuit Refugee Service UK welcomes parents and children who are seeking asylum and supports them while they wait for a better future. The people we work with have no recourse to public benefits or accommodation and no permission to work. Many of the families we accompany struggle with homelessness. In the UK, we help families by: n offering a warm welcome and listening ear each time they come by n helping with GP registrations, emergency accommodation or referrals n providing nappies, baby clothes, pushchairs, birthday presents and toys n enabling participation in occasional visits to museum family days All donations go direct to projects with or practical support for destitute and detained asylum seekers. Your voluntary donation will enable us to respond to deepening needs of refugees in an increasingly hostile environment where government support for families will be reduced this year.

For more information about how we work, go to www.jrsuk.net ! Yes, I would like to donate... c £20 to pay for an emergency food grant for a newly destitute family c £35 to contribute to the cost of school uniforms, school meals and books c £100 to help organise a relaxing and fun family day out OR another amount to use where the need is greatest: c £10 c £50 c £250 c £_______

Please make your cheque payable to “Jesuit Refugee Service” and send it to: 2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT. Telephone 020 7488 7310 Please treat as Gift Aid donations all qualifying gifts of money made: c Today

c In the past 4 years

c In the future Do tick all boxes that you wish to apply.

c Please send me your newsletter to keep up to date with JRS-UK’s work Title.......................................................................... Full name................................................................. Address.................................................................... ........................................Postcode.......................... E-mail....................................................................... Date.......................................................................... Registered charity in England and Wales 230165 and Scotland SCO40490 Give on-line at www.justgiving.com/ jesuitrefugeeservice


Feature: Seafarers

Greg Watts on the exploitation of people working in the fishing industry

A sustainable living? CONCERNS OVER DEPLETING fish stocks have led more and more supermarkets and restaurants to work only with suppliers who can prove that their seafood is the product of sustainable fishing practices, meaning that the marine environment and its inhabitants have been treated responsibly. This is good, but what about those who catch the fish? How is all of this affecting them? As ports are built far away from the cities and seafarers have little time to go ashore, the maritime world is an invisible one for most of us. We can no longer make a connection between the fish we buy and those that go out to sea to catch it. “In the past there were fishing markets where people would buy fresh fish, have the opportunity to talk to fishers and get to know about their hard life. Nowadays most of the fish is caught out

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at sea immediately frozen, processed, and sold in supermarket,” said Father Bruno Ciceri, co-author of Fishers and Plunderers: Theft, Slavery and Violence at Sea. It’s estimated that 200 million people are employed in the global fishing industry. While globalisation is good news for some of those, it’s bad news for others, believes Father Bruno. “Most of the fish sold in supermarkets is caught not by local fishers but by fishing vessels from far away countries, mostly Asian, operated by a composite crew hidden behind the name of a big corporation.” When industrialised fishing by nations who, having over-fished their own waters, encroach on small fishing com-

munities, they have to sail further away from their home shores in boats that may not be sufficiently safe for longer expeditions. Many fishermen today are being exploited, claimed Father Bruno. “The exploitation of the fishers start when many of them are illegally hired or trafficked into this work or they are obliged to sign a contract that do not guarantee any working and labour rights. “Fishers are exploited because they must live always on board of the fishing vessel confined in very limited and noisy spaces. They are force to work for long hours, in any weather conditions without proper clothing, for a very small salary and without any welfare provisions in case of accident or death. >>>40


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Feature: Seafarers “When the vessel is out at sea, thousands of miles from any ports, a fisher in need of any kind of assistance is dependent on the captain of the fishing vessel that has literally power of life and death on him.” “Fishers, aside from being exploited, often have to endure different kinds of verbal, physical and sexual abuse generally from the captain and officers. When confronted with these abuses the fishers cannot react in any way they will be punish with beatings and depravation of food and water. “Even if in certain cases they are able to escape from this slavery they cannot obtain justice and all the hard earned money is kept by the agent who helped them to embark.”

For many companies the only way to remain competitive and maintain a profit margin is to cut down labour costs

Father Bruno maintains there is no interest from the fishing industry and the big corporations in revealing the real working conditions of the fishers: “The people buying seafood are satisfied by the affordable prices and by the assurance given by the producers that whatever seafood they are eating was caught “in a sustainable and dolphin friendly manner”. Developed countries don’t want to pay a high price for seafood products and the retailers look for companies that can offer the cheapest price. Since these companies can’t reduce costs associated with fuel or eqipment, they cut the salary of the fishermen, sometimes using forced labour and trafficked people. Father Bruno is also a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, which is responsible for overseeing the work of Apostleship of the Sea (AoS), which supports fishermen around the world. For example, in Madagascar, off the coast of south-east Africa, AoS works with the fishing communities whose livelihood is threatened by globalisation. An estimated 100,000 traditional fishers, most using simple wooden boats and nets, live and work in 1,250 coastal communities in Madagascar. 40 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

Developed countries don’t want to pay high prices for fish and seafood Photo: AoS Among other things, AoS encourages and supports the wives of fishers to form associations and it provides activities and education for children of traditional fishing families. Fishing vessels of developed countries often enter illegally into the territorial waters of poorer countries, such as Madagascar, poaching and catching huge

quantities of fish and depriving local fishers of their livelihood. Félix Randrianasoavina, the national director of AoS in Madagascar, said, “To bring new ideas to ancient, traditional fishing, improving working conditions and promoting human welfare: These are the priorities for Madagascar, a country on the road to development. But


these are not the priorities of globalisation.” Sometimes, because of visa regulations, foreign fishermen can end up trapped on vessels just outside British waters, unable to come to come ashore. AS BBC Radio 4’s File on Four reported last year, that’s what happened to Marco, a Filipino taxi driver who needed to earn

more money to support his family. He paid an agent in the Philippines more than £2,000 to secure him a visa and a placement in Britain to work on a fishing boat in Cornwall. He signed a contract to work for 48 hours a week, fishing for prawns. However, he was put to work on a fishing boat off the coast of Northern

Ireland and there was no mention of the contract he had signed. “From the moment I arrived they didn’t give me a chance to have a rest. I worked 20-hour days, seven days a week. I never got a day off. I was tailing the prawns, filling baskets, and if I didn’t fill the baskets within two hours, my skipper was screaming and shouting at me. He treated me like an animal,” he said. “The accommodation was like a coffin. You cannot sleep because of the noise of the engine and the smell of diesel. When it rained, water dropped through on to my face while I was sleeping. I lived on board the boat for two-and-a-half months. I thought when I arrived in the UK everything would be better, but it was a nightmare.” Marco was unable to complain about his treatment because of the type of visa which allowed him into the UK. If he had stepped off the boat, he would be have been in breach of his visa conditions and liable to arrest and deportation. Apinya Tajit, deputy director of AoS Sriracha in Thailand, said not enough is being done to tackle forced labour and trafficking in the fishing industry. “Governments through the relevant agencies such as flag states, port authorities and coast guards must increase checks on fishing vessels when in port and strictly implement existing international regulations and conventions on the human and labour rights of fishers,” she said. Despite hitting global headlines, the problem of people smuggling and human trafficking in the fishing industry has resulted in very little positive outcome and action, she claimed. “Fishing vessels often operate in deep sea, miles away from any form of government or recognised authority that is able to control and inspect the human and labour conditions of fishermen on board, as well as implement the law and impose sanctions. “The operating costs of fishing vessels are extremely high and fish stocks are declining, so for many companies the only way to remain competitive and maintain a profit margin is to cut down labour costs.” The solution to all of this lies with us, the consumers, she believes. “We should increase consumers awareness about the quality of seafood on supermarket shelves. Seafood that is generally very cheap, or is regularly sold at a very competitive price, can often originate from companies that habitually make use of forced labour and human trafficking.” JM JUSTICE MAGAZINE 41


Feature: Holy Land

We must speak the truth to achieve justice in Israel and Palestine, argues Trocaire’s Séan Farrell

Time to recognise rights and dignity

Local Palestinians show Bishop John McAreavey and Trócaire’s Seán Farrell the impact of the construction of the Israeli Separation Wall in the Cremisan Valley outside Bethlehem. Photo: Garry Walsh/Trocaire OVER THE LAST 20 years I have become used to living in places where human rights are systematically abused by the powerful to retain power and ensure that communities have no ability to develop. In the early 90s I lived in Romania, where the former dictator Ceausescu’s secret police held the country in its grip of control and brutality, while I recently spent two years living in Zimbabwe. 42 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

In between, I have visited the villages of conflict-scarred southern Philippines, the survivors of the war in Northern Uganda, the coffee plantations of Nicaragua, the Mayan communities of Guatemala and many other communities where Catholic aid agency Trócaire provides support to vulnerable people. Oppression and the denial of rights through brutal and violent force has been a constant companion over the last

two decades. Palestine is a place that has held my interest for years but I only recently had the opportunity to visit for the first time. Seeing the situation facing people there - from the ghost town of Hebron, to the rural villages of the South Hebron hills, to the separation wall cutting off Palestinians from the land in the Cremisan Valley - one truth rings true for me: the denial of basic rights comes


This checkpoint in Hebron has been the site of violent confrontations between the Israeli army and Palestinian demonstrators Photo: Garry Walsh/Trocaire

in many guises and in many costumes. In Palestine, that costume looks very different to the overtly brutal clothes of many other countries I have visited. The oppression of the Palestinian population and the targeting of both people and their land, comes in the clothes of ‘security’ and ‘legal protection’. It goes without saying that Israel as a state has the right to safety, security and recognition. But what I saw in the

Palestinian territories was not about the security of Israel. The building of settlements across Palestinian land, driving farmers from their fields and demolishing homes, needs to be seen for what it is: a land grab. When all of the rhetoric is removed about security and legal processes, what is left is an illegal occupation and a systematic campaign of forced displacement, house demolition and land seizures. It is both illegal and immoral. The bravery and courage of the people I met, both Israeli and Palestinian, who struggle to challenge this is amazing. The Israeli people who challenge their own society to come and see that the occupation destroys both the occupied and the occupier were particularly inspiring. Their bravery is a shining light in the midst of a lot of madness. The situation facing people in the West Bank is a clear injustice, but in Gaza people face an entirely different crisis. Gaza is like nothing else: 1.8 million people corralled into a tiny strip of land cut off on all sides. It is the largest open prison in the world. And from that prison of poverty and isolation comes the frustration, anger and seething resentment that breeds and gives life to violence and despair. Justice is about recognising the rights and dignity of all. And in too many places in our world, political and economic

forces turn a blind eye to abuses and oppression. But working for an organisation like Trócaire is fundamentally about speaking truth to power. Over the last two decades I have too often come face-to-face with the closed fists of oppression and injustice. And I have become too used to seeing the signs and sensing its awful threatening presence. That presence is all over Gaza and the West Bank. It is an oppressive injustice, and it is hard to see how any solution can be reached until we articulate it as such. But, for some reason, the world cannot bring itself to talk about the truth of the problem. Until we do, the settlements will continue to grow, land will continue to be seized and frustrations will continue to overspill into violent and horrible acts. We will continue to swallow a daily media diet of security and terrorism. Seeing first-hand the seized land, demolished houses, displaced families and segregated streets and roads, it is clear to me that we must speak truth to power and unveil the reality that many seek to hide. Then and only then can justice prevail. JM Séan Farrell is the director of Trócaire’s International Division. Trócaire’s Lenten campaign runs from February 10 to March 27. Visit trocaire.org for more information JUSTICE MAGAZINE 43


Feature: Uganda

Peter Mount MBE details the work being done by Helping Uganda School, or HUGS, a charity which has grown dramatically since its launch

From Cheshire with love I HAVE ALWAYS enjoyed Chinese takeaway meals so when a visitor from Uganda and I had a meal together back in June 1997, this was our first choice. We had met up a couple of years earlier and said we could find a few kind people of Marple in Cheshire to help him to pay for about 15 young people to go to primary schools near Mubende, which is in the south of his country. ‘So, how are the children getting on?’ was the beginning of the conversation over the starters. By the time we came to the coffee, we had decided that so much more could be done. We both believed that education is the only real solution to many of the world’s problems. And this is particularly true when you look at poverty and the limited opportunities which so many children suffer from. Maybe we could raise our sights and find the money to buy some land so that the local villagers could build a school? That way we could help to educate not just 15 children, but also many more. Little did we know that more than 20 years later we would still be doing that. Neither did we every think that we could have a series of schools with nearly

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1,000 children now attending. The start of the first school was exciting. We had very little money but huge enthusiasm both from our local friends, but more importantly from the local people in the village. I think we spent about £600 buying 15 acres of land. The local people got to work making the bricks and the first classrooms were built by 2001 when the school called St Zoe’s opened. At first there were only about 30 children, but over the next three years this grew to about 150. We have always insisted that while we would find the capital cost of building

We both believed that education is the only real solution to many of the world’s problems Children at a HUGS school

and equipping the school, the local people themselves must find the money to pay the teachers and, of course, to feed the children. Without this we could not guarantee that the school would be sustainable. More land was purchased and this in time grew to about 60 acres with really good crops of maize, beans, cassava, banana and potatoes. We registered the charity formally in 2003 and our trustees have visited many times, always paid for by themselves. We decided from the start that any money we raise from donors would all go to the schools and to education. Now, 13 years since St Zoe’s opened,

we have a primary, secondary and vocational school on the site and some of the earliest students have now gone on to further education and in many cases to university. We encourage practical courses because in much of Africa and perhaps UK also, the message for children needs to be ‘how do I create a job’ and not ‘how do I get a job’. The St Zoe’s Campus now has about 400 children at school. Another accidental meeting, this time with a Manchester University post graduate student from Uganda, started us on our next big project. She was doing a Masters degree in


one to start. The existing school was located in buildings not really fit for animals. The school took about three years to complete and now has about 300 children attending. My visit to Uganda in October 2015 was to attend the official opening of our sixth school, the Asili Girls Secondary School at Lira, in the north of Uganda. This has been a very troubled region for many years and many lives were taken by the Lord’s Resistance Army. They seem to have taken their reign of terror into other nearby countries (Congo and the Central African Republic) so things are much more peaceful now. This school is addressing one of the most important challenges of all; giving girls a really good secondary education with a focus on vocational skills is so neglected in Africa. Education is the one

special needs education. When we asked her why, the answer was that for more than 25 years she had dreamed of running a school for children with learning disabilities. These children get a very poor life in much of Africa. They often don’t go to school at all. If they do attend then they will be in a class of 120 and get no attention at all and often get bullied by the other children. Just like in the UK. We were so impressed by her passion that we decided to increase our fundraising efforts to see if we could help her. The generosity was amazing and what started as an idea that might take seven years to complete was all done in under

four years. Now the Good Shepherd School has 120 children attending with another 30 who are brought to the school each week with a parent and who are learning to read and make garments and baskets. A visit to Rwanda started the next school. We have all read about the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Certainly I went there with some trepidation. It’s a truly beautiful country with mountains and lakes and wonderful people. Could we help to build a primary school near to Kibungo, a place which was central to much of the killing in 1994? We had just finished the Good Shepherd School, so this seemed a nice

This school is addressing one of the most important challenges of all; giving girls a really good secondary education with a focus on vocational skills is so neglected in Africa

thing that gives women some choices in their lives and without education they are destined for the lives of their mothers – six, seven or eight children, many dying in childbirth and the same cycle of history being unbroken. We are working with very committed partners to change this. The school will take another five years to complete, but we got off to a great start this year. JM Helping Uganda Schools (HUGS) has also started a major programme of scholarships for students who are attending colleges or university but they must be studying a practical subject, particularly health, education, engineering, IT, agriculture and building. There are currently 35 on this programme. To get involved with HUGS, contact Peter Mount CBE at pwmount@me.com or write to 6 The Ceal, Compstall, Stockport SK6 5LQ JUSTICE MAGAZINE 45


Feature: Health

With one-in-four of us expected to experience a mental heath problem each year, Keith Fernett asks why it’s still the poor relation in terms of attention and funding

We need action on mental health services A STAGGERING ONE in four of us will experience some kind of mental health problem each year. Though this is a headline grabbing figure, mental health continues to be the poor relation to physical health in the UK. A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that only 24 per cent of adults with common mental health problems will receive treatment, compared to 94 per cent of people with diabetes. Mental health also falls behind in terms of funding too, receives just 13 per cent of NHS funding. Baroness Hollins, chairman of British Medical Association (BMA) Board of Science, has spoken out about the unequal footing of physical and mental health. She has called out the acceptance in society, and even the medical profession, that people with mental health problems and intellectual disability will live shorter lives and will suffer because of unmet health needs. “In the vast majority of cases, there is no good reason for this. But the voice of these vulnerable groups often goes unheard, and the status quo remains unchallenged.” Common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, panic disorders, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder can cause great emotional distress, and can affect how you cope with day-to-day life and your ability to work, so it is important for those experiencing them to seek help. I am the chief executive of Caritas Anchor House, a Catholic social action 46 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

charity which offers a home and support to more than 230 homeless people and records more than 15,000 visits to our services by community members each year. In my role, I have seen an increased complexity in the homeless referrals we receive for access to our services, and in 2015, 52 per cent of our resident group had mental health needs. Mental illness is treatable and, with appropriate support and treatment, people do recover. Many move on with their lives and are able to care for their family, contribute to the local community, and get back into employment or training. However, access to services can be difficult and sometimes impossible for some of those who require them. I acknowledge that treatment for a mental health issue may not always be a straightforward journey. For many, mental health is not a standalone issue. Individuals may also experience drug and alcohol addiction, domestic abuse, offending histories, lack of employment and education or physical health needs. Indeed, 51 per cent of the residents of Caritas Anchor House have multiples of these areas of need. We have seen service users with multiple needs, for example addiction and mental health issues, to be denied access to services when they need them most. We have had individuals not able to access either mental health or drug and alcohol services, until the other issue had been dealt with. This creates a vicious circle, where their mental health deteriorates due to their substance use and vice versa. Unfortunately these challenges are not isolated. On a number of occasions we have had to lock down our facility because of an individual who threated violence as a result of mental health

issues. We provided accommodation to an individual on his release from prison, but services failed to disclose that he had set his prison cell on fire, and had been banned from accessing the community mental health team, the probation service as well as other services. He proved to be a danger to himself, the staff and the 118 other residents living at Caritas Anchor House. If he had been able to engage with mental health services, the individual could have been supported but instead has been recalled to prison. It seems inevitable that on his release he will face the same outcome. I appreciate that resources are limited, but mental health services are not facing this alone. Homeless organisations like Caritas Anchor House are finding their resources stretched, while demand is ever-increasing. We are working in a very tough economic climate and the London Borough of Newham, where Caritas Anchor House is based, has had to deal with £84million of government cuts over the past four years. We are currently running at a 99 per cent occupancy rate, and unfortunately do not have the resources, in either time or money, to support people with such a complexity of needs, when our role is not understood by mental health services. Our approach is to act as a community resilience centre, providing services to those in need and thus reducing demand on mental health services and the NHS. Our community-based therapeutic service, Your Space, aims to build active networks of emotional support in our community. This service provides isolated local residents with a safe and supportive place to meet, develop confidence, share problems and improve their sense of wellbeing. We also hold mutual aid meetings, Alcoholics and Cocaine


Anonymous, which sees 6,000 visits each year. Because of the complexity of mental health, it is important that our voice is heard by health services and the Government, so that the problems we and other organisations have experienced can be addressed for the benefit of everyone. While we are all under pressure, we have to be open and honest about what those pressures are, and put our priorities in the direction of those individuals who have serious mental health needs, and are in need of support from professionals, which is not always forthcoming in an appropriate manner. A survey by the Care Quality Commission found that one in five people do not feel they have seen staff from the mental health services often enough to meet their needs, whilst 23 per cent have not been told who is in charge of their care. A further 26 per cent had not had a formal meeting to discuss how their care was working in the last year. These worrying statistics led Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals, to say: “It is clear that many people do not feel well-served by community mental health services. Leaders and staff from mental health trusts should reflect on what they could do differently and better to ensure people are engaged effectively and involved in their care and take action to ensure that people get the help and support they need.”

Mental health is a very real and serious issue which has been overlooked for too long. We need action on mental health and fully-funded, engaged services that can support people. David Cameron’s recent announcement of £1 billion investment in mental health services is interesting, but to see positive changes, mental health professionals must consider different approaches and attitudes to service delivery. I would ask therefore for a re-evaluation and re-prioritising for mental health services, particularly for those who have other complex needs associated with them – different organisations need to have a more cohesive approach to supporting people with multiple needs. This re-evaluation has been called for in many different ways in the past year, and I believe it would be very helpful for Clinical Commissioning Groups, the NHS and mental health services to consider this, particularly when you see the amount of resource that have been taken up by other agencies supporting these individuals, or in effect, being wasted. I have seen some very positive examples of organisations working with those who have mental health needs, which has been seen to reduce calls upon other mental health services. The Newham and Tower Hamlets branch of Mind work in partnership with Caritas Anchor House, and in 2015 were named as our Community Partner of the Year in our annual awards ceremony. The specialist benefits service Mind provides has been outstanding and they have helped advocate for so many of our

n Self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 n More than 70 per cent of the prison population has two or more mental health disorders n Demand for mental health services has risen by 20 per cent over the last five years n Mental health counts for almost a quarter (23 per cent) of disease burden in the UK n Mental health beds have been reduced by eight per cent since 2010 n David Cameron has recently announced £1 billion in investment in mental health services residents to ensure they get the benefits they need and are entitled to, in turn reducing financial worries and anxieties. We also work with the Metropolitan Police and I have been impressed with how they work with people who have mental health needs. Though they are not trained mental health specialists, I have seen an empathy and understanding from them when they help people who are experiencing mental health difficulties. I believe this is a glimpse of what the future could look like – different organisations working together for those who have mental health needs, with a client-centric approach and with full support from mental health services. Mental health is a ticking time bomb, and with serious mental illnesses reducing life expectancy by up to 20 years, the time to act is now. JM JUSTICE MAGAZINE 47


COVER STORY Feature: Kenya

Tara Finglas reports on a project in the Mukuru kwa Njenga i slum in Nairobi. Photos by Lar Boland

A better and brighter future THE WORD ‘HOME’ has many different meanings – it’s the place where our families live, our sanctuary from the world or the place where we belong. During the next decade nearly three billion people worldwide will call some of the world’s over-crowded, dirty and dangerous slums home. Rapid urbanisation, and a failure to develop a robust urban planning model results in the construction of informal haphazard settlements. Put simply: Supply outstrips demand. Walking through the winding dirt streets of the Mukuru kwa Njenga i slum, grocers, hairdressers, mechanics and families exist side-by-side claiming their small piece of territory to survive. The Mukuru kwa Njenga i slum in Nairobi is one of the largest slums in Kenya with a population of more than 100,000. Life here is precarious and uncertain because of mass evictions, and a lack of access to water and good sanitation. “I came to Mukuru kwa Njenga i slum after a misunderstanding with my husband,” says Annastacia Wanjala, “I worked as a casual worker at the Red Cross Hotel-Red Court for two months

48 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

UN-Habitat estimates that... n The number of people living in slum conditions is now at 863 million, in contrast to 760 million in 2000 and 650 million in 1990. n By 2030, about 3 billion people or about 40 per cent of the world’s population will live in slums. This means 96,150 housing units need to be constructed per day globally. n Each day 120,000 people are born increasing the populations of Asian cities, requiring the construction of at least 20,000 new dwellings and supporting infrastructure. when the contract ended. I was introduced to the Ruben Centre by a friend, and I enrolled at the Ruben Vocational Training Centre where I am training in knitting, dressing and tailoring through the sponsorship of the Anti-Child Labour Department.” The Ruben Centre is a Faith Based Organisation (FBO) and works for a just and empowered Mukuru Slum Community. The centre is a one-stop-shop to ac-

cess education, skills training, maternal and child health, and economic empowerment for residents of the Mukuru kwa Njenga i slum. It is one of eight Edmund Rice Development project sites in Africa providing key services for one of the biggest slums in Kenya. The Ruben Centre was the brainchild of the famous Sr Mary Killeen from the Mercy Sisters, known as the Mother Teresa of Kenya, who established the first ever primary school in the slum in 1986. In 2000, at Sr Mary’s request, Edmund Rice Development took over the management of the school, which then transitioned into the Ruben Centre as we know it today. Annastacia is also a recipient of the Community Opportunity Micro Enter-


prise Trust (COMET). COMET provides sustainable micro-finance, and related business development services to residents of the slums to stimulate investments in micro-business and to reduce poverty. Supported by Misean Cara, it focuses on self-employment, developing a culture of saving, providing access to affordable loans and building the entrepreneurial capacity of the slum residents. “I got to know of COMET through the weekly training sessions on business facilitated at the vocational centre by the micro-finance project,” says Annastacia. “After the elections in 2013, there was violence amongst community members based on presumed voting patterns,” says Annastacia, “houses were torched and I lost all of my household belongings.

Following the incidence, my mother took custody of my three children and I joined COMET.” Since its inception, the Ruben Centre

Life here is precarious and uncertain due to mass evictions, and a lack of access to water and good sanitation

has brought improved safety and security to its area in the slum amidst the wider lawlessness. It has been a bulwark demarcating a beacon of hope for the residents in the slum to transform their

lives, and community. “During the business trainings at COMET, I worked with the project coordinator on my business plan, and after a discussion with the committee, COMET offered me Ksh 1,500 as a start-up loan without security,” says Annastacia grateful for the organisation’s belief in her. Annastacia’s life has changed because of COMET. Today she is a successful business woman, and her business is thriving, and she is able to plan for the future: “I invested in a hawking business trading in onions. In three days, I had made Ksh. 2,600 in profit and I offered to clear the loan. “I was, however, advised by COMET to reinvest the profit and diversify the products,” she says, “this was a >>> 50 JUSTICE MAGAZINE 49


blessing as I was able to increase the range of products that I traded in. I stuck to the terms of the loan and cleared it within a month.” The business is doing well, and Annastacia is able to save some of her profits. She hopes that her savings will allow her to form a larger micro-finance group to help other business women access more credit to expand further into the slum. Annastacia believes that COMET has given her much more than business acumen, it has empowered her to think much bigger than her initial dream. “Through the project, I have learnt business skills, and I am able to manage my small business. From a start-up capital of Ksh. 1,500, the business capital has grown to Ksh. 5,000 in under 5 months,” says Annastacia, “the little start-up capital was like an eye opener for me.” “I have been able to replace my lost household belongings like furniture and bedding, and I can now pay my rent. I have also been able to send at least Ksh. 1,000 on a weekly basis to my mother towards the upkeep of my children. “The star is bright and I look forward to a better and more dignified life.” JM 50 JUSTICE MAGAZINE

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Justice Magazine Winter 2016  

The latest issue of Justice Magazine features articles on: Coffee, Nicaragua, prisons, the Middle East, the Holy Land and more

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