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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

ACRATH Slide: Latest News

Trading Lives:  Modern-day Human Trafficking

A report from an inquiry into slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking conducted by the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade was tabled in Federal Parliament on Monday 24th June 2013.  In tabling the report entitled Trading Lives: Modern-day Human Trafficking inquiry chair, Mr Laurie Ferguson MP, commented, “I also want to take the unusual step of congratulating some people who drove this inquiry, most particularly the Australian Catholic Religious against Trafficking in Humans, a group of Catholic nuns who have run a very strong campaign on behalf of those people suffering from sexual slavery. That is an area where sometimes people tend to blame the victims as much as the perpetrators, so their work has really been central in getting this on the agenda.”

Download a copy of the report here.

Trafficking in Indonesia

Posted in June 27th, 2013

Australian Institute of Criminology Trends and Issues Papers

The Australian Institute of Criminology has recently analysed data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Indonesia counter-trafficking database.  The results of their analysis can be found in three Trends and Issues Papers released but the A.I.C. in May 2013.  These papers look at issues such as the experiences of trafficked people, the range of exploitative conditions these people experience, the support needs of trafficking victims and the factors that inhibit a trafficked person’s willingness and ability to participate in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

Click on the following links to download copies of the Trends and Issues papers.

Experiences of trafficked people:  an Indonesian sample

Exploitation of trafficked men, women and children and implications for support

Barriers to trafficked persons’ involvement in criminal justice proceedings: an Indonesian case study

Sr Michelle Receives the Good Citizen Award for Fountain of Life

Good Citizen’s Award

On 4th February 2013 Fountain of Life Children’s Centre Pattaya received the Good Citizen’s Award from the Ministry of Social Development of Thailand for its excellent services against trafficking in persons, empowering marginalized people especially women and children and for being a valuable source of information regarding matters related to trafficking in the Mekong Region, especially in Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Sr Aileen Dalton

This award was presented by Princess Somsawalee.  Sr Michelle who stated the project accepted the award.  Irish missionary, Sr Aileen Dalton also worked at Pattaya when the project was initiated in 1992.

At the Fountain of Life Children’s Centre in Pattaya, Thailand, disadvantaged children can experience the joys of childhood in a safe, caring and calm environment.  Women are provided a place where friendship, education, healthcare, counselling and support are given in a safe and caring environment.


Child Labour in Domestic Work

Posted in June 24th, 2013

New International Labour Organisation (ILO) Report

World Day Against Child Labour was observed on 12th June.  To mark this day the ILO released a new document – No to Child Labour in Domestic Work.  The report indicated that 10.5 million children are engaged in domestic work.  This does not mean doing normal household tasks in the family home.  

Child labour in domestic work is defined as “work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity, and that is harmful to physical and mental development.  It refers to work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful to children; interferes with their schooling by depriving them of the opportunity to attend school, obliging them to leave school prematurely and/or requiring them to attempt to combine attendance with excessively long and heavy work.”

Click here to obtain a link to the report.

2013 Trafficking in Persons Report

Posted in June 20th, 2013

On June 19th the 2013 Trafficking in Person Report was released by US Secretary of State John Kerry.  In releasing this report Secretary Kerry said, “Human trafficking undermines the rule of law and creates instability. It tears apart families and communities. It damages the environment and corrupts the global supply chains and labor markets that keep the world’s economies thriving. We also have a moral obligation to meet this challenge head-on. Human trafficking is an assault on our most dearly held values of freedom and basic human dignity.”

The report affirms steps taken by the Australian Governments to improve its legal framework for combating trafficking—particularly labour trafficking—through the enactment of amendments to the criminal code.  Recommendations to Australia include improving “the access of trafficking victims to opportunities to seek financial compensation and civil remedies; consider additional ways to streamline and expedite visa processes for trafficking victims; increase availability of shelter services for victims, perhaps through additional funding to NGOs; continue funding NGOs to conduct campaigns to raise public awareness of all forms of trafficking, particularly among rural communities and migrant populations that are not easily accessed through mainstream media.”  ACRATH would support this recommendation and has been advocating the Australian Government for this over a number of years.

Click here to access this report.

ACRATH Newsletter June 2013

Posted in June 17th, 2013

Latest ACRATH News

In the latest ACRATH Newsletter you can read about ACRATH’s participation in the Public Hearings on Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking recently conducted by the Parliamentary Human Rights Sub-Committee of DFAT.  The Newsletter also provides an update on the ACRATH Radio Awareness Project and about ACRATH member Lucy van Kessel’s work at the UN in New York over recent months.  You are also invited to support the work of ACRATH by participating in the campaign to have more Easter Eggs manufactured with certified cocoa in our supermarkets in 2014.

Click here to download your copy of the June Newsletter

Congratulations to Merlyn Quaife

Posted in June 11th, 2013


ACRATH is delighted to congratulate Merlyn Quaife for being given the award of Member of the Order of Australian in the 2103 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.  This award was bestowed on her in recognition of her significant service to music.

Merlyn has been a regular performer at St Francis’ Church, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, for 35 years.  In 2009 she produced a music CD, Fortune My Foe,  in collaboration with Andrea Katz as a fundraising project in support of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking of Humans.  She has also performed at concerts for ACRATH on a number of occasions.

ACRATH is very grateful for the support received from Merlyn.  In congratulating her we thank her for sharing her talents with us and wish her well for her future as a musician.

Click here for details on how to purchase a copy of the CD, Fortune My Foe.

No to Child Labour in Domestic Work

Posted in June 11th, 2013

World Day Against Child Labour June 12, 2013

This year’s annual World Day against Child Labour will put the spotlight on the plight of child labourers in domestic work.  The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will release a report entitled “Ending child labour in domestic work: Protecting young workers in domestic work from abuse and exploitation”.  The study explains that children involved in domestic work are often vulnerable to physical, psychological and sexual violence and abusive working conditions. 

The International Labour Organization and its International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), in partnership with an array of renowned conductors, musicians, musicians’ organisations and music education bodies, is launching its “Music against Child Labour” Initiative in June 2013.  The Music Against Child Labour Initiative calls for musicians, orchestras, choirs instrumentalists and singers of all genres worlwide to dedicate one concert in their planned repertoire between October 2013 and December 2014 to the struggle against child labour. For more information on this initiative click here.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in June 11th, 2013

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 11 No 6

The June issue of Stop Trafficking looks at ways organisations are trying to address the Demand Issue with regard to trafficking for sexual exploitation.  It contains links to a number of websites and resources including a fact sheet that outlines how we can engage in the campaign to Stop the Demand for Human Trafficking.

Download your issue here.

ACRATH Presentation

Back Row: Roscoe Howell (Slavery Links Australia) , Mr Peter Slipper, Mr Laurie Ferguson, MP, Dr Mark Zirnsak (Director, Justice and International Mission Unit, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Uniting Church in Australia), Joan Kennedy pbvm (ACRATH), Carol Hogan sss (ACRATH), Front Row: Christine Carolan (ACRATH National Projects Coordinator), Senator Ursula Stephens, Denise Mulcahy fcJ (ACRATH)

On 8-9 May 2013 in Melbourne, the Parliamentary Human Rights Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade held a public hearing in Melbourne in connection with the inqury and report on slavery, slavery like conditions and people trafficking.  Fifty eight written submissions were received by the joint committee, and ACRATH, along with fifteen others was called to speak at the hearing in Melbourne.  An ACRATH delegation was in attendance for the entire hearing.

The Chair of the Inquiry, Laurie Ferguson congratulated ACRATH on its activity, saying that he thought ACRATH was ‘the main group’ that led the committee to holding this inquiry, based on ACRATH’s  ‘activities, your appearance before the committee at various stages and your lobbying.’   In thanking ACRATH for being in attendance he said:  ‘You said you are a miniscule organisation but you have driven this inquiry.  It says something about the receptiveness of parliament that this inquiry came out of your activity.’

Senator Stephens thanked ACRATH for ‘what is a really comprehensive submission and takes us through the breadth of potential government action’ which she thought was ‘very helpful for the committee’.

Peter Slipper congratulated ACRATH ‘on not just the complexity but the comprehensiveness’ of the submission.  He said ‘You have brought forward a series of recommendations, some of which I think the committee would be neglecting its duty if it did not take seriously enough into account.’

In her presentation on 8 May 2013, Christine Caroline, ACRATH National Projects coordinator emphasised the following points:

  • compensation for those who have been trafficked into Australia
  • negotiation for a slavery free supply chain for all goods coming into Australia
  • using a protocol of ‘human rights’ to underpin the offering of services to people trafficked into Australia

She recommended that there be a federal scheme of compensation for people who are trafficked, as the present ‘victims of crime assistance’ not only varies from State to State, but it is not compensation for the crime committed.

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