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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

ACRATH Slide: Latest News

Pope Francis Speaks Against Human Trafficking

Pope Francis said human trafficking is a ‘shameful and ignoble activity’ (AP)

During a meeting with members of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travellers, who were holding their plenary assembly at the Vatican, Pope Francis commented that human trafficking is “a despicable activity, a disgrace for our societies, which describe themselves as civilised.”  He urged “exploiters and clients at every level must make a serious examination of conscience before themselves and before God.”  Pope Francis also spoke of the responsibility that Christians have to be sensitive and respond to refugees and forcibly displaced people and their experiences of “violence, abuse, being far from their family’s affection, traumatic events, fleeing their homes and being in refugee camps uncertain about their futures”. Read more…

UN General Assembly Voices Concern

© UN News

In 2010 the UN General Assembly established a Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  A  two-day High-level Meeting of the UN General Assembly took place on 13th and 14th May.  The meeting aimed to review progress made since the adoption of the Global Plan in order to strengthen national and international efforts to end this global enterprise.  With around 25 million victims human trafficking affects every country in the world.

The meeting determined more efforts are needed to effectively combat practices of human trafficking. Almost all participants, whether from the UN system, Member States, civil society and trafficking victims, called upon countries that have not yet done so to sign and ratify the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Trafficking in Persons Protocol. Better data collection, victim support, law enforcement, prosecution, awareness raising campaigns, information sharing, capacity-building and coordination between countries of origin, transit and destination, as well as more resources, including for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking, were reiterated more than once at the meeting. The latter was particularly urgent. As Saisuree Chutikul, Member of the Board of Trustees for the UN Voluntary Trust Fund, explained during one of the panel discussions, out of 193 Member States, only 12 had actually contributed to the Fund. Some countries, which had made pledges during the establishment of the Fund, had basically used empty words.  Read more…

Click on the following links to view panel discussions during the meeting:  Panel 1, Panel 2

Radio Awareness Project

Posted in May 23rd, 2013


Human trafficking, slavery, and labour exploitation happen in Australia, in our local communities.  As part of our ongoing work to end human slavery ACRATH has funded a Radio Awareness Project, The RAP.

With generous support from Anti-Slavery Australia, The RAP has produced community service announcements for radio to build awareness and provide information about human trafficking and slavery in Australia today.  The intention is to reach individuals and communities most at risk of exploitation, particularly Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) communities. 

To date the RAP has produced 14 CSAs in:

  •  Thai
  • Mandarin
  • Malay/Indonesian
  • English.

The CSAs are currently being broadcast on 3ZZZ, Melbourne Ethnic Community Radio, and North West FM in Melbourne.  We are working to increase the distribution of the CSAs to Ethnic Radio programming across Australia. 


  • Do you host a local ethnic radio program?  Would you be interested in sharing a message on anti-slavery with your audience?
  •  Or, would you be available to help by recording a scripted anti-slavery community service announcement (CSA) in your own language (other than English)?
  • We are interested in hearing ideas on generating greater awareness and information to CALD communities.

Contact:  Brigid Corcoran, ACRATH

The Scourge of Human Trafficking

Posted in May 19th, 2013

Speech made by Archbishop Francis Chullikatt, Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York

Mr. President,

Today’s meeting presents the international community with an opportunity not only to assess the progress achieved since the adoption of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons in 2010, but also to renew our commitment to work together and to condemn with one voice the abhorrent and immoral practice of trafficking in human beings.  Read more…

The Trouble with Trafficking

Posted in May 19th, 2013

Southeast Asia’s Human Trafficking Conundrum

International Organization of Migration (IOM) Indonesia chief of mission Denis Nihill said the changing nature of human trafficking made it more difficult to tackle. “There’s been a lot of work done on the Greater Mekong Region for many years on trafficking, but it’s become more complex, as it’s now inextricably woven with labour migration, which is a much more difficult nut to crack because it is less easy to detect than trafficking linked to the sex industry.”  Nihill also pointed to the difficulties of tackling internal trafficking.

A 2012 UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report on human trafficking recorded more than 10,000 cases of trafficking in persons in South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific between 2007-2010, but it is unclear what the situation is today.

“Nobody has been able to convincingly demonstrate the scale of the problem, let alone come up with clear ways of how to address it,” Sverre Molland, a lecturer at the Australian National University in Canberra who specializes in human trafficking, told IRIN, humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Read more… 

Banks Join Fight Against Human Trafficking

Posted in May 19th, 2013

Flagging Electronic Fingerprints of Traffickers

A roundtable discussion brought together major financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to discuss closer cooperation in the fight against human trafficking, a global business worth $32 billion a year, according to the U.S. State Department.  The roundtable, held in New York, was co-hosted by  Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.  It was part of a new initiative joined by JP Morgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, Toronto Dominion Bank, Barclays, Western Union and American Express to fight trafficking.

“All sorts of electronic and digital fingerprints are left when you have a crime committed or a business enterprise is being run,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.  “Trafficking at its heart is a crime motivated by money, and we have seen over the course of our prosecutions that there is much to be made. Financial institutions are in a unique position to spot red flags in banking activity and report them to law enforcement.”  Read more…

Ground Zero for Slavery

Posted in May 17th, 2013

Something Rotten in the US Tomato Industry

Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes  but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers are held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.  Thankfully, a new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful. The Fair Food Program is working to enforce a policy of zero tolerance for slavery on tomato farms.

Click here to find out how you can encourage the major supermarket chains to participate in the Fair Food Program and protect the rights of workers on Florida’s tomato farms.

Baby Trafficking in Nigeria

Posted in May 17th, 2013

Nigerian Police Uncover ‘Baby-Factory’

Following a house raid, Nigerian police found six pregnant teenage girls.  It is alleged the two men and a woman who were arrested at the scene were operating a child trafficking ring.  The girls had been lured into the house and promised money for their babies. Police are still trying to unravel details of the situation.  This is not the first such raid in Nigeria.  Human trafficking, which includes the selling of children, is the third most common crime in Nigeria.

Read more

Recommendations to the US President

In April 2013 UNANIMA International was represented in Washington DC at a meeting organized by the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in collaboration with the Bakhita Initiative (U.S. Catholic Sisters United Against Human Slavery) for 12 leaders of groups of women religious who work against human trafficking. During the meeting UNANIMA attended a ceremony at the White House for the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The occasion was the Council’s formal presentation of its report on “Building Partnerships to Eradicate Modern-Day Slavery.” The report begins: “There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 21 million in bondage across the globe.” (International Labor Organization). The report is excellent, with 10 specific recommendations for the President.   Download a copy of the report here.

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Report

The Crimes Amendment Legislation (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013 has made forced marriage a crime under Australian law.  A forced marriage is defined as a marriage that is not freely and fully consented to because of the use of coercion, threat or deception.  In Australia there is a lack of data about the frequency of forced marriages.  However the AIC has undertaken research directed at understanding the role of marriage and partner migration in the trafficking of persons.  In March 2013 they released a Research in Practice document entitled Forced and servile marriage in the context of human trafficking.  Dowload a copy of the document here.

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