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All That Glitters…

Posted in August 26th, 2013

Are Children Being Forced to Work So You Have Make-Up?

If you check the packaging of many cosmetic products you may see ‘Mica’ listed among many other ingredients.  This is the most common mineral used in mineral make-up, giving lip gloss, foundation, powder, eye-shadow and nail-polish its sleek shimmer.  What it doesn’t list in the ingredients is that children risk their lives to put this sparkle into western cosmetics.

Thousands of children as young as six are involved in the “illegal” collection of Mica from the soil before it is exported to major brands in the West.

Collecting Mica involves working in the mines of Jharkland and Bihar, India, which are often 3 to 4 kilometres deep into the jungle, where the pieces of Mica can be found within the mud on the ground.  Retrieving the particles involves repeatedly digging up mud, sieving it, setting aside anything valuable and moving onto the next bit.  Mica mining has multiple dangers and is sometimes fatal. Whilst scavenging in the rocky ground children risk snake and scorpion bites as well as being buried alive by collapsing slag piles whilst digging holes.  They regularly suffer from cuts, bruises and infections and the Mica dust can cause respiratory disease.  This forced child labour also means the children are being denied their right to an education.

A social movement called Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) which means ‘Save the Childhood Movement’ in Hindu runs schools in the area and the some children have been enrolled. However, due to the remoteness and political instability of the area, there is little help available from government or NGOs to tackle this and the BBA are one of few agencies working there.  Read more…
(picture and article from STOP THE TRAFFIK)


Posted in August 26th, 2013

A Tool to Identify and Help Victims of Human Trafficking

SPOT THE TRAFFIK is a tool to equip community members and frontline professionals to identify and help victims of trafficking.  Funded by the Home Office and developed with Sea Communications, STOP THE TRAFFIK UK is excited to announce the launch of SPOT THE TRAFFIK, a pioneering multimedia tool. This new resource includes free online materials and the opportunity for face-to-face training.  This innovative project provides a clear, accessible route for frontline professionals to get informed and equipped about what to look for so they are alert for indicators that are cause for concern.

Ruth Dearnley, CEO of STOP THE TRAFFIK comments, “In recent years it has been encouraging to read the columns written and reports presented raising the issue of people trafficking within the UK. However, our thinking and our talking is not enough. STOP THE TRAFFIK exists to find ways to make it possible for anyone, in this case frontline professionals, to act wisely and effectively to stop it. We believe that SPOT THE TRAFFIK will set people free.”  Read more…

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in August 18th, 2013

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 11 No 8

The August edition of Stop Trafficking highlights issues affecting the exploitation and rehabilitation of trafficked teens.  The Newsletter also contains an article about Artworks for Freedom a large-scale outdoor photography exhibition which aims to use the power of art in the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.  Download a copy here.

Survivor Leadership Combatting Trafficking

Posted in August 18th, 2013

Survivor Stories

Survivor Stories is a yearlong campaign by Equality Now that features first hand narratives from survivors of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation from around the world.  The project was launched to coincide with the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (March 2013), which discussed the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.  The campaign provides a forum for survivors to shape the conversation and be a part of the solution, and provides readers with related actions they can take to support the anti-trafficking and exploitation movement.   Read more…

Married as Compensation at Age 5!

Posted in August 18th, 2013

Child Brides in Pakistan

In Pakistan children as young as five are being forcibly married off as compensation for family and tribal disputes.  The custom known as ‘swara” is illegal but there were 180 reported cases in 2012 with many more cases remaining undetected.  The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported, “According to tradition, the compensation should end the dispute and bring the two warring families together in harmony.  In practice, however, the marriage only provides cover for revenge.  Swara girls become the targets of all anger and hatred in their new home. They are often bitten, emotionally tortured, and sometimes raped by other men in the family. They are made to suffer for a crime they did not commit.”  Read more…

SOLWODI Newsletter

Posted in August 6th, 2013

SOLWODI Newsletter No 96, June 2013

SOLWODI stands for Standing with Women in Distress.  In their latest Newsletter contains article on how SOLWODI is trying to make a difference including their efforts in Berlin to urge the implementation of EU Human Rights Convention Against Human Trafficking and their involvement in Munich with the Info Bus Project.  The Info Bus Project offers concrete advice and assistance which comes to the people.  The Newsletter also contains an article on being a women in Columbia.  Read more…

The Demand Side of Sex Trafficking

Posted in August 6th, 2013

Media Representations of Women and Men in Australia

Professor Bob Pease is from the  School of Heath and Social Development at Deakin University.  His research interests are in the fields of critical masculinity studies and critical social work practice. In the former area his specific research focus is on men’s violence against women and cross-cultural and global perspectives on men and masculinities.  His article entitled The Sex Factor: Media Representations of Women and Men in Australia appeared in the Centre for Citizenship and Globilization Research Papers December 2013 issue.  In this paper he argues that the media has a public role to play in fostering discussion about why men purchase sex.   He concludes this article by challenging readers to ‘pressure the media to raise awareness of the demand side of prostitution and sexual exploitation and the role that men can play in challenging it.”  Read more….

Education Resource Now On-line

Posted in July 30th, 2013

Resource for Secondary School Teachers

The ACRATH Education Resource is now on-line.

This educational resource has been prepared to assist  secondary school teachers in educating and raising consciousness about the issue of human trafficking.

Developed as 4-step process for teaching about human trafficking: Introduction – Information – Recognition – Action, each step in the process is crucial and requires completion as students move through the learning cycle to a deepened understanding of the issue of modern day slavery and a commitment to action.

Click here to access the education resource

Slavery Here in Australia

Posted in July 27th, 2013

Woman Held in Domestic Servitude

The Saturday AM program on ABC Radio has reported that a Filipino woman who was held in domestic servitude is speaking in an effort to help others who are still trapped in similar conditions.  The woman came to Australia because she was promised a job as a live-in housekeep for a foreign diplomat.  In speaking of her treatment the woman said ” I was treated like a prison.  I’m not allowed to talk, I’m not allowed to go out, even throwing out the rubbish.”  She was not given a bed to sleep on, her passport was confiscated and she was paid no wages.  She eventually escaped with the help of her embassy and the Australian Federal Police.  Australian courts will now decide if this situation of labour exploitation was in fact modern day slavery using new laws passed by the Australian Parliament in February 2013.

Click here to read  the ABC Radio report transcript.

 A Threat Assessment

A 2013 UNODC (United Nationas Office of Drugs and Crime) report notes that rapid economic and social development in East Asia and the Pacific over recent decades has been accompanied by the development of criminal enterprises.  Four of the twelve illicit trade flows involves human beings.  “Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are still high profit-low risk crimes where conviction rates are far too low.  Efforts to solve these problems must be embedded in a wider migration and development policy framework.”

Download a copy of the UNODC report here.

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