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Child Labour in Uzbekistan Cotton Industry

Posted in November 4th, 2013

Large Scale Forced Labour in 2013 Harvest

Cotton 2103In mid-October 2013 the Cotton Campaign released a report on the first month of the cotton harvest in Uzbekistan.  the Uzbekistan government continues “to mobilize Uzbek children and adults in one of the largest state-sponsored systems of forced labour in the world.”

“One of the most notable developments of the 2013 cotton production cycle thus far is the extent to which the Uzbek government has tried to create the impression of voluntary work in the cotton fields. In January, authorities added a clause stating consent to help with agricultural work to public-sector employment contracts, making participation in the cotton harvest a condition for employment . Leading up to and during the first month of the harvest, administrators of public institutions required their staff to sign an additional statement of consent prior to sending them to pick cotton.
As a pre-condition for school enrolment, high-school administrators required parents to sign contracts committing their children to pick cotton and required students to sign statements of their “voluntary” participation in the cotton harvest . In both instances, the students and adults affected could only avoid this “voluntary” service to the country by paying costly fees to government officials.” (Review of the first month of the 2013 Cotton Harvest in Uzbekistan by the Cotton Campaign)

Download a copy of the review here.

Three Charged with Labour Trafficking

Posted in October 29th, 2013

Three People Arrested in Sydney

Australian Federal Police have arrested and charged three members of a Filipino-Australian family for their alleged trafficking and exploitation of four young Filipino boxers.  The men had been brought to Australian on sporting visas.  They thought they were going to have professional boxing careers.  Instead they found themselves forced into a debt bondage situation, living in poor conditions with substandard food, forced into unpaid domestic work.

Division 271 of the Criminal Code criminalises the traffficking of persons in all its forms.  The offence carries a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.

Read more…

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in October 27th, 2013

Stop Trafficking

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 11 No 10

The October issue of Stop Trafficking! highlights human trafficking in the Congo and provides a summary of health care training modules and upcoming conferences.  Articles include Abuse in Mining Camps, Female Subservience in Congolese Marriage and Vatican Conference on Human Trafficking.

Download your copy of Stop Trafficking! here.

Global Slavery Index 2013

Posted in October 27th, 2013

162 Individual Countries Ranked

Global Slavery IndexThe Global Slavery Index 2013 has been produced by the Walk Free Foundation in consultation with experts from international organizations, think tanks and academic institutions.  It provides a ranking of 162 countries around the world, based on a combined measure of three factors: estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, a measure of child marriage, and a measure of human trafficking in and out of a country.

A ranking of 162 countries is given in the Global Slavery Index 2013 with the worst ranking being 1 and the best ranking being 160.  Australia is given a ranking of 138 and the report estimates that there are about 3,000 people currently enslaved in Australia.  The report also indicates that most victims identified in Australia have been exploited in the sex industry however the number of victims exploited in others industries has increased in recent years.

Download a copy of the Global Slavery Index 2013 here.


Advocates Visit Mondelèz

Posted in October 21st, 2013


When Will Toblerone be Child Slavery Free

On Friday 18th October, Anti-Slavery Day, Peter Gilfedder,  Therese Power, Claire Griffin and Christine Carolan from the Victorian ACRATH group joined with a coalition of others to send a message to Mondelèz, one of the world’s biggest chocolate companies. Like other chocolate companies, they have known about child trafficking into their industry since 2001. In November 2012 their statement to invest $400m into ‘sustainable cocoa’ was welcomed and in July this year they released more information about what the focus of this would be, but failed to provide specific targets or deadlines. Those who gathered in Melbourne on Anti-Slavery Day were asking for more direct action and information. (There are still no clear details about when specific bars such as Toblerone will be made with certified cocoa beans, and when they will commit to certification for the rest of their range).

Peter & Christine at Mondelez eventThe anti slavery activists, gathered at the Mondelèz HQ in Melbourne, also handed over thousands of postcards from people saying they want slavery-free chocolate. ACRATH’s Peter Gilfedder (pictured) spoke of his time in West Africa. Peter spoke of the Ivory Coast where young boys are in forced labour on cocoa plantations. Peter also spoke of the crushing poverty in Burkina Faso, the source country for many of the trafficked boys. After the postcards were handed over, a group of eight advocates, including two from ACRATH,went upstairs for an hour long engagement with Mondelèz management. ACRATH was able to remind Mondelèz of the 2014 Easter fairtrade chocolate campaign; this will be our sixth annual Easter campaign; we want all Easter chocolate to be certified as slave-free.

2013 Freedom Award

Posted in October 20th, 2013

Anti-Slavery Freedom Award to ACRATH

Tanya Plibersek presents AwardACRATH was honoured at the 2013 Freedom Awards in Sydney. The Awards recognise organisations and individuals dedicated to anti trafficking initiatives in Australia. Deputy Opposition Leader, the Hon Tanya Plibersek presented the 2013 Awards. Ms Plibersek spoke of the big gains resulting from the work of so many people gathered at the University of Technology Sydney on the evening of 17 Oct. Ms Plibersek also noted the willingness of people to work in networks to make a difference, even when working in a network could sometimes be ideologically challenging.

Two recipients of the 2013 Awards were Sister of St Joseph, Marie White, and Christine Carolan, ACRATH National Projects Co-ordinator. Christine commented at the Awards night that it was good for anti trafficking advocates to celebrate together, particularly with so many gains having been made in anti-human trafficking work in 2013.

Christine mentioned the Feb 2013 announcement by Nestle that all their chocolate made in Australia and NZ is now certified as slavery-free. Christine also noted the International Women’s Day (IWD) enactment of the new anti trafficking legislation that will, amongst other things, protect girls and young women from forced marriages. Also on IWD was the then PM Julia Gillard’s announcement that the Australian Government procurement officers would ensure goods in their jurisdiction were slavery-free. As a further cause for celebration, Christine was delighted to share the couple of hours old announcement that Woolworths have signed the BanglaDesh Fire and Building Safety Accord.

Jennifer Burn, Director of Anti Slavery Australia, the host organisation for the Awards, reminded those gathered that ACRATH was also honoured in the inaugural Anti-Slavery Freedom Awards when the founders of ACRATH, Srs Louise Cleary csb and Pauline Coll sgs, received an Award. Jennifer spoke of the challenges facing anti trafficking work in 2014, and mentioned in particular the work of community awareness raising.

At the Awards night, Christine Carolan reflected on the tension for ACRATH of celebrating an Award while at the same time being conscious of the June 2014 conclusion of the ACRATH core funding from the Attorney-General’s Department. Anyone able to support ACRATH with either a small or large donation, could contact Christine at

Anti-human Trafficking Day

Posted in October 18th, 2013

Join Hands Against Human Trafficking

People are Not for SaleToday, 18th October, is Anti-Human Trafficking Day in Europe.  It happens today in every country of our world.  Slavery is not a thing of the past. It is estimated that 800,000 women, men and children are trafficked across international borders every year.  Human trafficking is a violation of human rights.

Join hands in the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery.  Help to raise awareness about this evil.  Write a message on your hand, photograph it and post it on social media.

ACRATH Newsletter October 2013

Posted in October 15th, 2013

Latest ACRATH News


ACRATH members continue to work with enthusiasm to raise awareness about human trafficking and modern day slavery in our world and to support those who have been trafficked and enslaved.

The latest ACRATH News reports on a variety of activities including links with international initiatives, Music Against Child Labour, slavery free supply chains and many others.

Download the latest issue of ACRATH News here.

International Day of The Girl

Posted in October 11th, 2013

Innovating for Girls’ Education


International Day of the girl is celebrated each year on 11th October.  The 2013 theme is Innovating for Girls’ Education.  ACRATH has be a long time campaigners for girls’ education.  We believe that education provides girls with more opportunities and traffickers with less opportunities.

In his statement for the 2013 International Day of the Girl UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said “Empowering girls, ensuring their human rights and addressing the discrimination and violence they face are essential to progress for the whole human family. One of the best ways to achieve all of these goals is to provide girls with the education they deserve.”

Read more…

Join the Toblerone Thunderclap

Posted in October 10th, 2013

When Will Toblerone Be Traffik Free


STOP THE TRAFFIK has been campaigning since November 2012, asking Mondel?z for two things:

  1. When will Toblerone be traffik-free?
  2.  When will they release a public timeline committing to certifying the rest of their range?

Despite their recent announcements there is still no clear answer to these questions!

Your help is needed to get Mondel?z’s attention.  So this Anti-Slavery Day, 18th October join the STOP THE TRAFFIK Thunderclap.  Add your voice and ask Mondel?z this one question: When will Toblerone be traffik-free?

Click here to join the campaign.

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