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Protecting the Girl Child

Posted in April 4th, 2014

Using the Law to End Child, Early and Forced Marriage

Protecting the Girl childEquality Now, in partnership with TrustLaw Connect and Latham & Watkins LLP, carried out a sample survey of the legal position on child marriage and some of the interconnected issues in 18 sample countries. Child marriage is practised across the globe.

The sample country reports look at not only the pure legal provisions relating to age of marriage, but also the extent to which they have been enforced, if at all, and the law and practice of some related issues including laws relating to bride price/dowry; statutory rape laws that are circumvented through marriage; availability of child protection services when escaping child marriage; legal requirements for registration of birth and/or marriage; and, schooling for girls. They also identify the intersection between child marriage and other social and legal issues, such as gender-based violence, human trafficking, exploitation, nationality, FGM, force feeding, etc.

Download a copy of the report here.

Law to Take Effect in June 2014

law2After being signed into law at the end of March, American Samoa’s new anti-human trafficking laws will come into effect in June.  Acting Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga said the legislation will allow the government to investigate and prosecute those who would exploit others.  He also said, “There have been human trafficking cases in American Samoa recently, and the victims haven’t been limited by age, gender, ethnicity, nationality or village.”   The law also mandates that a human trafficking task force collect data, and recommend policies and procedures.

The new law makes human trafficking punishable by five to ten years in prison, with ten years being mandatory for trafficking a minor.  Advocates for victims of human trafficking welcome the new law saying it will raise awareness about behaviour that may be identified as human trafficking.

Interantion Day victims of slavery 2014Victory Over Slavery:  Haiti and Beyond

Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. This day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about modern day slavery.

This year’s theme, “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond” pays tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world. It recalls that Haiti was the first nation to become independent as a result of the struggle of enslaved men and women led by Toussaint Louverture.

Read more… 

Ministerial Grant Acknowledges Work of ACRATH

Posted in March 25th, 2014

ACRATH_LogoFederal Grant Enhances Work of ACRATH

ACRATH– Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans – has just been advised that Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, has approved funding for ACRATH of $360,000 over the next three years.   Minister Keenan wrote in a letter to ACRATH:

“I recognise ACRATH’s valuable contribution to Australia’s response to human trafficking and slavery through awareness-raising and direct outreach, and trust this additional funding will facilitate your future work on this issue.”

Sr Anne Tormey rsm, President of ACRATH affirmed the Minister’s announcement saying, ‘ACRATH is delighted to receive this funding which will further enhance our capacity to undertake the work we began 9 years ago’.

Sr Anne said, ‘ACRATH will continue to raise awareness amongst people who are newly arrived in Australia through the ACRATH RAP (Radio Awareness Project); we have made Community Service Announcements (CSAs) and print advertisements in Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Thai, Arabic and Spanish. The announcements, supported by the Australian Federal Police and using text by Anti-Slavery Australia (part funded by the Australian Government), have been aired on some Victorian radio stations, but will now be offered across Australia on radio as well as in ethnic newspapers.’  Read more…

Congratulations Haigh’s Chocolates

Posted in March 19th, 2014

UTZ Certified Easter Egg and Easter BilbyHaigh's Easter Egg

Haigh’s Chocolate are proud to be the first Australian-owned bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer to achieve international UTZ certification for ethically and sustainably farmed cocoa beans, which includes a zero-tolerance policy towards trafficked child labour.  UTZ certification puts Haigh’s at the forefront of a sustainable production program that spans cocoa-growing countries from Ghana in West Africa to Peru in South America.

UTZ certified cocoa has been used for all of the 2014 Easter range, including every Easter Egg and Easter Bilby.

Congratulations and thank you to Haigh’s for achieving UTZ certification and for making their Easter Eggs slavery-free.

Global Freedom Network Established

Global Freedom NetworkOn 17th March, the feast of St Patrick who was himself a slave, an accord was signed by the Vatican, the Anglican Communion and a leading Muslim Institution pledging to work together to end human trafficking throughout the world by 2020.  It is hoped that over time all the world’s major faiths will sign the accord.  The signing of this accord marks the beginning of the Global Freedom Network.  Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free Foundation, is a major partner and organizer of the new network.

In a joint statement, the accord’s signatories called human trafficking and modern slavery “crimes against humanity” and called for urgent action by all faith communities to join the effort to “set free the most oppressed of our brothers and sisters.”  (Picture: Vatican Radio)

Read more…

ACRATH Newsletter March 2014

Posted in March 17th, 2014


The March 2014  ACRATH Newsletter provides an update of various ACRATH activities including the National Conference and AGM which was held 27 February – 1 March.  ACRATH is currently involved with key campaigns addressing Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter and the Importation of Slavery Free Supply Goods.

Download your copy of the ACRATH Newsletter here.

Slavery Free Chocolate

Posted in March 17th, 2014

Are You Buying Ethical Chocolate?

girl posterDid you know that much of the chocolate available in Australia comes from cocoa beans picked by children, many of whom have been trafficked or forced to work in exploitative conditions?   It is estimated that there are at least 800,000 children working in the cocoa industry at present:  5-10% of these have been trafficked.  To ensure that the chocolate you buy has been produced in an ethical manner, look for the following labels: Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ. 

How can you help?

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in March 17th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 3

The latest issue of Stop Trafficking highlights the steps women are taking to curb human trafficking.  You can also read about the contribution to anti-trafficking initiatives made by the recent recipients of the 4th Annual Norma Hotaling Anti-Trafficking Awards.  A number of resources are also listed in the March issue.

Download your copy here.

Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter

Posted in March 7th, 2014

Easter 2014Buy Only Slavery-free Chocolate

The Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter campaign was recently launched in Melbourne, Victoria, with students from St Bernard’s College, Essendon and Penleigh Essendon  Grammar School.

Let us not forget that even our smallest actions have the capacity to impact on the lives of others.  The Slavery–free chocolate campaign is designed to free those children, predominantly in West Africa, who are trafficked into picking cocoa to make the chocolate that we, in the developed world enjoy.  This campaign has already had great success, with chocolate manufacturers pledging to source an increasing amount of their chocolate from ethical sources.

The time to keep going is now.slavery free launch

Let‘s ensure that all are chocolate is sourced from workers who received decant and fair wages and conditions and that children receive the necessary education that will assist them to elevate themselves out of poverty.

When your school  purchases chocolate this Easter for fundraising, will you make sure that it is slavery-free???  Can we make all our schools – slavery free??? Can we encourage all our parents to buy slavery free?

If your store doesn’t sell Fair Trade Chocolate will you ask the owner or manager – WHY NOT????

Read more…

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