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Fair Food for Australia

Posted in June 24th, 2015

Support the Fair Food Agreement

Many of you will be aware that some workers, particularly those coming into Australia on a range of visas, are working in conditions that are unjust. This issue was highlighted in a recent edition of the ABC’s Four Corners program, Slaving Away. Find the Four Corners program here.

Governments, unions and justice organisation, including ACRATH, are concerned that all workers in Australia are treated fairly, and that people do not have to work in slave-like conditions to provide us with food. The Federal Government inquiry into Australia’s temporary work visa programs has also begun and supermarkets were invited to attend the Melbourne hearing. Woolworths accepted the invitation and their response to issues around food supply chains, as well as evidence from unions and other organisations, can be read in the inquiry’s hearing report.

Unions have also mobilised to try and ensure unfair conditions for workers. The National Union of Workers is circulating a petition which you are encouraged to sign. This can be done on-line or you can print the petition and circulate it to family and friends.

All petitions should be returned (by email or by mailing in hard copy), by July 20 2015 to:

Godfrey Moase
Assistant General Branch Secretary
National Union of Workers
833 Bourke St, Docklands 3008, Victoria

or email to

Involving Migrant Chaplains

Posted in June 18th, 2015

Janine & migrant chaplains

Raising Awareness in Queensland

QLD ACRATH was recently invited to give a presentation on human trafficking to the Migrant Chaplains of Brisbane.  There were about 20 chaplains representing different migrant groups including: Sudanese; Chinese; Vietnamese; Indonesian; East Timorese; and Latin American.  The invitation came about through contacts Rosie Hoban, ACRATH RAP co-ordinator,  made in Brisbane. The ACRATH RAP program is a multi-language anti-human trafficking awareness project. For more information on the RAP project  contact Rosie on

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in June 16th, 2015

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 6

The June issue of Stop Trafficking! focuses on the plight of thousands who seek employment only to be trapped in exploitive situations. It includes articles on the exploitation of domestic workers, Qatar World Cup 2022 workers, trafficking in the garment industry and the call for domestic worker reforms.  Download your copy here.

Slavery on Thai Fishing Vessels

Posted in June 16th, 2015

On April 4, Indonesian official put on wrist bands on recently rescued Burmese fishermen for identification purpose upon their arrival in Tual, Indonesia.Kidnapped, Sold and Enslaved

Recently 550 young men from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand crawled out of Benjina’s jungle, out of incarceration in tiny iron cages and off the decks of fishing boats. They had been slaves, kidnapped, sold and coerced as boys in their home countries, only to be brutalised for years by Thai fishing masters and their enforcers. They were rescued on 1st April 2015. The men had been forced to work 20 to 22 hours a day and were beaten by the toxic tails of stingrays and shocked by Taser if they fell asleep. So far two Indonesians and five Thais have been charged with human trafficking. The question needs to be asked:  how much slave-caught fish might have ended up on Australian dinner plates?  (Image: The Age, May 23rd 2015)  Read more…

NO To Child Labour-YES To Quality Education

Posted in June 12th, 2015

World Day Against Child Labour 2015World Day Against Child Laour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Around the world, large numbers of children are engaged in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer. These children can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they may be isolated, and they may be working far away from their family home. The most recent global estimates suggest some 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour, with boys and girls in this age group almost equally affected. This persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment.

World Day 2015 calls for:

  • Free, compulsory and quality education for all children at least to the minimum age for admission to employment and action to reach those presently in child labour;
  • New efforts to ensure that national policies on child labour and education are consistent and effective;
  • Policies that ensure access to quality education and investment in the teaching profession.

Professional Development for Teachers

Posted in June 8th, 2015

Teacher day

Human Trafficking in the Curriculum

The ACRATH Victorian Education Committee has organised a Professional Development Day for Teachers in Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools on Friday, 4 September 2015. The Catholic Education Office Melbourne has generously agreed to sponsor this day which will be held at the Catholic Leadership Centre (CLC), Corner Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street, East Melbourne.

All teachers in Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools are welcome. The topic of Human Trafficking is being taught in a wide range of subject areas including Humanities, Economics, Business Management, Ethics and Religious Education. Teachers in these subject areas will be amongst the Teachers’ Panel members sharing their experiences and insights in the afternoon.

Download the program.

Download location, directions and public transport information for the Catholic Leadership Centre.

Teachers intending to participate in this Professional Development Day must enrol online on CEVN. As places are limited to 40 participants, early enrolment is encouraged.

Accreditation value: 6 hours Category C
CEOM In-service Code: 15WBS120A

Inquiries to: Carole McDonald RSM, ACRATH Regional Co-ordinator Victoria  at

Australian Visa Reforms Welcome

Posted in May 27th, 2015

australia-visa-stamp200New Visa Framework for People Trafficked into Australia

In a media release on Wed 27 May 2015  two federal government Ministers announced visa changes for people trafficked into Australia. The changes address concerns we in ACRATH have raised with the federal government over and over again during the past 6 years. I just want to acknowledge the tenacity of so many ACRATH members who have kept asking:

  • for changes to visa names so they don’t stigmatise trafficked people,
  • for access to English classes for people on temporary visas,
  • for better access to Social Security payments.

So many people in ACRATH have worked on this issue – by writing to, and also meeting with, the relevant Ministers, by speaking to many many Members of Parliament, and by working strategically with government departmental officers, Ministerial advisors and with like-minded NGOs.

“These changes represent our collective work with victims who have faced real barriers to rebuilding free and independent lives,” says Christine Carolan, Executive Officer of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). For more detail see the Joint-NGO-Press-Release.

ACRATH Newsletter May 2015

Posted in May 13th, 2015

ACRATH Logo 2015 - smallLatest ACRATH News

The May 2015 issue of ACRATH News is now available.  It reports on experiences of networking in Rome, the 2015 Easter campaign and current advocacy issues.  An update on the government funded Forced Marriage Project is given. Liz Payne, the new employed Forced Marriage Project Worker, is also introduced. To find out more about ACRATH’s efforts to work against human trafficking download your copy of ACRATH News here.

Fair Trade Fortnight, 8-22 May

Posted in May 10th, 2015

Fair Trade Fortnight 2015You Can Make a Difference

Buying Fairtrade products means supporting better working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers in developing countries.  Farmers then have more control over their lives and can decide how to invest in their future. When you buy Fairtrade products you can be confident that the product has been produced according to internationally agreed standards which have been independently certified.  These standards include fairer terms of trade, minimum price for sellers of the produce and the protection of workers rights.

The protection of workers rights means that human trafficking and child labour have not been part of the production process.  Look for the Fairtrade logo nest time you are shopping for goods such as chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar. Read more…

Slavery in Australia!!!

Posted in May 7th, 2015

Slaving AwaySlaving Away: A Four Corners Report

A recent Four Corners report, Slaving Away, has uncovered the exploitation of migrant workers on farms and in factories in Australia. The workers, most of whom are on 417 working holiday visas, experience slave-like conditions. They labour for long hours, are underpaid and often live in sub standard conditions.  The fruits of their labours are sold in our major supermarkets and fast food chains. As a result of the Four Corners report exposing this situation the Victorian Government has announced an inquiry into labour exploitation. The head of the Queensland horticulture group, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, has backed calls for an undercover taskforce to crack down on the exploitation of foreign workers. (Photo:

Slaving Away may be viewed here.

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