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Ambassador to Holy See Visits ACRATH

Posted in December 14th, 2014
by ACRATH

Ambassador John McCarthy KCSG in Melbourne

Ambassador at ACRATHAmbassador John McCarthy KCSG, Australian Embassy to the Holy See, visited ACRATH at Albert Park, Melbourne on Friday 12 December 2014.   ACRATH members had the opportunity to share with him the organisation’s objectives and current activities.  The Ambassador responded by sharing with the group the ‘Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery’ (Tuesday 2 December 2014), and a booklet on the ‘Global Freedom Network’.

This was a very positive meeting, affirming the strong leadership of Pope Francis and the work of ACRATH to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.   At the meeting, one of the ACRATH members raised the global challenge of addressing the demand side of trafficking, the demand for cheap goods and the commodification of people.  After the meeting, ACRATH members discussed the challenge to our country to ensure slavery-proofing supply chains.   Members also discussed preparation of materials for the Australian Catholic Church’s celebration of the feast of St Josephine Bakhita on 8 February 2015. (Photo: Ambassador John McCarthy (3rd from left) with Members of ACRATH, Albert Park, Melbourne)

No Longer Slaves, But Brothers and Sisters

Posted in December 11th, 2014
by ACRATH

pope francisPope Francis’ Message for World Day of Peace

Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Peace – 1 January 2015- is entitled “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.”  In this message we are reminded that we are called to live in relationships that are inspired by by justice and love so that the dignity, freedom and autonomy of all people is acknowledged and respected.  The Pope comments “Tragically, the growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man gravely damages the life of communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly to consider these, so that, in the light of God’s word, we can consider all men and women ‘no longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.'”

The statement concludes with the following challenge: “We know that God will ask each of us: What did you do for your brother? (cf. Gen 4:9-10). The globalization of indifference, which today burdens the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters, requires all of us to forge a new worldwide solidarity and fraternity capable of giving them new hope and helping them to advance with courage amid the problems of our time and the new horizons which they disclose and which God places in our hands.” Download the Pope’s message here.

 

 

Philippine Bishops Call for Zero Tolerance

Posted in December 10th, 2014
by ACRATH

One Filippino Victim of Human Trafficking is One Too Many

On Monday 8th December Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Philippines Catholic Bishops’ Conference, issued a pastoral letter calling for zero tolerance of human trafficking.  He called for cooperation between Church and the government to fight the evil of human trafficking which is “well established in our cities”.   He concluded the letter saying “we pray that our nation, by which we mean everyone of its citizens, find the grace and the courage to lead in this fight against human trafficking until it is extinguished from our daily lives.  We call upon all the faithful to join hands in every possible endeavour at every level of society, from local to national to international, in the pursuit of this objective.”  Read more…

 

ACRATH Newsletter December 2014

Posted in December 9th, 2014
by ACRATH

Logo 1Latest ACRATH News

The December 2014 edition of ACRATH News outlines some of the activities ACRATH members have been involved in over recent months. Included are articles about the Radio and Print Awareness Project, the Supply Chain Working Group and the recent meeting of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery.

ACRATH would like to wish all supporters peace and joy as we celebrate the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Download your copy of ACRATH News here.

ACRATH Members Present at Launch

ACRATH members were present when the Australian Government recently launched two important documents – the National Action Plan to combat Human Trafficking and Slavery and the Forced Marriage Community Pack. In releasing the National Action Plan Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, said, “Now is the time for a new vision; one that maintains Australia is a place where no one is subjected to human trafficking or slavery, and the human rights of all people are valued equally.”

The Forced Marriage Community Pack, a suite of awareness raising materials developed for frontline officers, community organisations, government agencies and vulnerable groups.  Also present at the launch were the Minister for Social Service, Kevin Andrews, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash.  As a member of the National Roundtable on Human trafficking and Slavery ACRATH has been involved in the development of these documents. Download the relative documents from the following links:
National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery
Forced Marriage Community Pack

Declaration Against Slavery

Posted in December 2nd, 2014
by ACRATH

Global Freedom Network

Religious Leaders, including Pope Francis, gathered in the Vatican on the International Day against Slavery, 2nd December, to sign a Declaration Against Slavery. This is the first time leaders of the world’s faith have come together with the goal of ending slavery. They wish to express their commitment to the dignity and freedom that is the birthright of all human beings.

Pope Council of EuropePope Francis Addresses Council of Europe

In his speech to the Council of Europe on 25th November in Stratsbourg, Pope Francis said “Peace is also violated by trafficking in human beings, the new slavery of our age, which turns persons into merchandise for trade and deprives its victims of all dignity. Not infrequently we see how interconnected these phenomena are.  The council of Europe through its Committees and Expert Groups, has an important and significant role to play in combating these forms of inhumanity.” Read more…

It was announced earlier this year that the Pope’s message for World Day of Peace on January 1 will be entitled No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters. (Photo: Catholic Herald)

Trafficking in Children on the Rise

Posted in November 26th, 2014
by ACRATH

Global Report on human traffickingGlobal Report on Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014 mandated by the General Assembly covers 128 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2010 and 2012 (or more recent). The Global Report 2014 highlights the role of organized crime in trafficking in persons, and includes an analytical chapter on how traffickers operate. The worldwide response to trafficking in persons is also a focus of this edition of the Global Report.

“Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” said UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov. “Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse,” he added.

The situation is particularly bad for girls and women. According to the report, girls make up 2 out of every 3 child victims. And together with women, they account for 70 per cent of overall trafficking victims worldwide. In some regions – such as Africa and the Middle East – child trafficking is a major concern, with children constituting 62 per cent of victims. Trafficking for forced labour – including in the manufacturing and construction sectors, domestic work and textile production – has also increased steadily in the past five years. About 35 per cent of the detected victims of trafficking for forced labour are female. However, no country is immune – there are at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination affected by trafficking in persons, and over 510 trafficking flows criss-crossing the world.

Download a copy of the report here.

Orange Your Neighbourhood on White Ribbon Day

Posted in November 25th, 2014
by ACRATH

white ribbon day 2Eliminate Violence Against Women

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25  as the annual date for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence. The end of the 16 Days is December 10, International Human Rights Day.  A white ribbon has become the iconic symbol of this annual event.

OrangeYourNeighborhood_350x228This year’s theme to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women 2014 is “Orange Your Neighbourhood”.  The colour orange, bright and optimistic, has been designated by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women to symbolize a better future without this pervasive human rights violation that affects as many as one in three women and girls worldwide. 

To learn more about what you can do visit the White Ribbon Australia website.

End Child, Early & Forced Marriage

Posted in November 24th, 2014
by ACRATH

end early child marraige_edited-1Historic Resolution of UN General Assembly

The committee of the 193-nation General Assembly of the United Nations has agreed that members should pass laws banning child marriages.  According to UN statistics there are now more that 700 million women who were married before their 18th birthday with child marriages afffecting about 15 million girls every year.  Christina Kalamwina, the deputy permanent representative of Zambia initiated the resolution with Canada.  She commented that child marriage impeded poverty reduction, education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, child mortality, maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases.  The resolution points out that early marriage is also a serious threat to the physical and psychological health of girls who are not physically mature enough as it “increases the risk of unintended pregnancy, maternal and newborn mortality and sexually transmitted infections.”  Download the resolution statement here.

(C) 2011 ACRATH Inc - Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans