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Digital News Fashion (DNF) has very recently become aware of the arduous but extremely important work that both UN-affiliated international and not-for-profit organizations in Switzerland are undertaking and leading in the combat against the worldwide problem of the trafficking of human beings.

On the evening of Friday, 10 March 2023, a representative of DNF had the distinct pleasure of attending the Grand Concert for the Eradication of Human Trafficking at the beautiful Victoria Hall in Geneva. This splendid event was superbly organized by the Roman Catholic Parish of Sainte-Clotilde in Geneva, led by its President Mrs. Sandra Golay, who delivered welcome remarks to the audience.

And as a prelude to the concert, speakers Ms. Monica Bonfanti, Commander-in-chief of the Geneva cantonal police force, and Prof. Michel Veuthey, Ambassador of the Sovereign Order of Malta to monitor and combat trafficking in persons made pertinent remarks aimed at sensitizing attendees from both the local and the international Geneva communities on the very current issue of human suffering that concerns us all.

United Nations Human Rights – About human rights and trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons refers to the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons—by force, coercion, fraud, or some other form of deception—for the purpose of exploitation.

Many of the practices associated with trafficking are prohibited under international human rights law. For example, human rights law forbids debt bondage, slavery, servitude, child sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and enforced prostitution; they are human rights violations.

Despite a solid international legal framework, millions of girls, boys, women, and men continue to be trafficked each year.

Message from Mrs. Sandra Golay, President of the Roman Catholic Parish of Sainte-Clotilde – Geneva

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Grand Concert for the Eradication of Human Trafficking for which we are gathered tonight in this magnificent Victoria Hall is one way in which the Sainte-Clotilde Roman Catholic parish in Geneva is supporting the work that the International Geneva organizations have been doing for several years.

The parish organized a first concert here in 2016 to celebrate the implementation in Switzerland of the Domestic Workers Convention, no. 189, by the International Labour Organisation.

In 2018 we supported the promotion of gender equality, especially at work, with a new concert designed to inform and promote awareness of the need to fully commit to the concept, among both workers and employers.

In 2020, the Parish of Sainte-Clotilde took action to raising awareness to children’s rights on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the International Convention on the subject.

This year, it is for the eradication of human trafficking that we have mobilized. Human trafficking is an ignominy against which we must fight with as much vigor as rigor, we are all well aware of this. And we would like to salute all the entities, international, national, governmental, and non-governmental, which are working in this direction. The international and national legal instruments in this area must deploy all their effects and this relentlessly, against the criminals, who we know thanks to the investigative work carried out on a global scale are always better organized and always more inhuman. The very recent report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on trafficking in persons has just underlined this: “It reveals in particular how the Covid-19 pandemic has increased vulnerabilities to trafficking in persons, further reducing capacities to rescue victims and bring criminals to justice… The international community should therefore enable national authorities, especially in developing countries, to respond to threats of trafficking and to identify and protect victims, in particular in states of emergency.”

Applying the laws more strongly and seeing governments increase the means to combat this scourge must be a priority.

We have to face many calamities, such as armed conflicts or climatic emergencies, in an increasingly dangerous world, but certain terrible attacks on the human person must not be forgotten. Together we can contribute to making this world safe, especially for the weakest and most deprived among us, it is a duty of charity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The parish is driven by a desire to strengthen the link between international Geneva and local Geneva by addressing issues that concern both the international and local communities. Our aim is to show that the international work being done in Geneva has a local impact and that this parish is ready to play its part through pastoral work. This is how our parish intends to act, and I consider it is our duty to fully commit to it with these modest efforts. One parish may not be able to move mountains, but it must nevertheless support the effort, and keep an open view of the world. 

Thank you for your kind attention.

Mr. Seok-Gill Choi (Bass)

Danaila Dimitrova (Soprano)

Mrs. Sandra Golay (President of the Roman Catholic Parish of Saint-Clotilde) 

Stanislava Nankova (Conductor)

The full program:

Conductor: Stanislava Nankova
Symphony Orchestra for the Eradication of Human Trafficking
– Umberto Giordano : Fedora (Intermezzo)
– Ennio Morricone: from the film The Mission (Gabriel’s Oboe)
– John Williams: from the film Hook (The Flight to Neverland)
Ministrings (from Lausanne)
– Voyage musical (A Musical Journey)
Danaïla Dimitrova (Soprano)
– Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria Rusticana (Ave Maria)
– Amilcare Ponchielli: La Gioconda (Suicidio)
Seok-Gill Choï (Bass)
– Wolfang Amadeus Mozart: The Magic Flute (In diesen heil’gen Hallen)
– Vincenzo Bellini: La Sonnambula (Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni)
Symphony Orchestra, Danaïla Dimitrova, Seok-Gill Choï
– Rolf Løvland: You Raise Me Up
Symphony Orchestra, Ministrings, Danaïla Dimitrova, Seok-Gill Choï
– Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II (You’ll Never Walk Alone)

Paroisse catholique romaine de Sainte-Clotilde

La Jonction

14bis, avenue de Sainte-Clotilde

1205 Geneva