A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Talitha Kum Aotearoa New Zealand

What’s in a name?

In a mid-June Zoom meeting, representatives of the Aotearoa NZ Religious against Trafficking of Humans -- ANZRATH -- groups in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin agreed to a change of name.

Our new name is Talita Kum Aotearoa New Zealand.

Talitha Kum is the international network of religious working against trafficking and exploitation of people.

Cenacle Sister Anne Powell said, “ANZRATH began in 2001 with the aim of working in solidarity with others to address the trafficking and exploitation of people, which has become the third most lucrative multinational ‘trade’. Our three groups in Aotearoa-NZ now come under the umbrella of Talitha Kum International, which gives us all a greater sense of solidarity, inspiration and connectedness”.

Talitha Kum takes its name from the Gospel story in Mark 5:41, in which Jesus visits the family home of a young girl who is thought to be dead. When he sees her, he instinctively reaches out saying “Talitha, kum”! -- Aramaic for “Rise up little girl”.

Currently there are groups in 92 countries, collaborating in inter-congregational networks and outreach of religious women and men, and all people of good will who share the same vision.

Trafficking is a phenomenon that currently affects at least 40 million vulnerable people, 70% of whom are women and children. Talitha Kum has, since its foundation, grown to be an interfaith network.

On 20 February this year, Talitha Kum presented the documentary “Wells of Hope” to the public, its first interfaith project against human trafficking in the Mediterranean Basin. It is available on https://donorbox.org/wells-of-hope

What kind of country do we want?

Prior to the Election in 2017, Dr Rebecca Miller, formerly Immigration NZ Manager for People Smuggling, Human Trafficking & Regional Cooperation, reminded us that immigration would be a significant issue in all coming General Elections. She said “Don’t underestimate the power of educating ourselves and building awareness more widely”.

Informing ourselves

Brigidine Sister Anne Phibbs discovered that a shop one block from her home was part of a racket run by a Wellington man who promised work in restaurants but exploited his countrymen in fast-food outlets instead. $90,000 in cash, paid by his victims, was found in the shop.

Stuff’s ‘The Big Scam’ exposed a string of immigration scams where desperate migrants paid for fake jobs, or jobs where they were forced to return most of their wages to employers.

Talitha Kum Aotearoa NZ will continue to organise seminars and workshops in the Wellington region on the theme of modern slavery and exploitation.

What can we do?

Investigate the supply chain of the clothes we purchase, the chocolate we buy, the coffee we drink.

Check out

  facebook.com talitha kum or
   Twitter - @talithakum.uisg or

  YouTube Talitha kum

To find out more about Talitha Kum Aotearoa NZ, contact

  Sr Anne Phibbs, Brigidine Sisters
04 237 8254 or annephibbs@xtra.co.nz

  Sr Anne Powell, Cenacle Sisters
04 2938344 or ampowell@cenacle.org.nz

In New Zealand:

• To report a case of migrant exploitation, contact the MBIE Service Centre:
0800 20 90 20

• To report people trafficking, call the local police, or 105
or, if it is an emergency, dial 111

• To report an issue anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by way of an online Crimestoppers form,

In Australia:

Contact the Federal Police: ’phone 131AFP (131237),  or email

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