Columban priest Fr Shay Cullen and the Preda Foundation have won an award for their work with women and children in the Phillipines. The City of Weimar, in north east Germany, has just announced the prize, which is to be presented on Internation Human Rights Day, 10 December 2000. Fr Shay has been invited to address the assembly. For more than 25 years, Fr Shay has been working as a parish priest in the Phillipines. In 1974 he set up the Preda Foundation to support women and young children rescued from the sex trade. The foundation provides therapeutic support, education, work opportunities and training for the young people and their families. Together with his organisation, Fr Shay has helped Interpol find and prosecute a number of child sex abusers. He also campaigned to get the law changed so that people committing these crimes in the Far East can be charged in their home countries. In 1989 Fr Shay was a delegate on the committee which wrote the UN Convention on the rights of the child in 1989. Preda and Fr Shay have also been nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. See also Irish priest in Phillipines challenges sexual exploitation, drug abuse and world banks, ICN, 4 October 1999.
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