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Make Easter Traffik Free in 2015

Posted in February 10th, 2015

Easter 2014Briefing Sessions

ACRATH, as a coalition member of STOP THE TRAFFIK, is participating in the Make Easter Traffik Free in 2015 campaign.  Briefing sessions for those wishing to take part will be held over the coming weeks. To attend a session click on the appropriate link below.

  • Adelaide 12 February
  • Melbourne 17 February
  • Canberra 19 February
  • Brisbane 24 February
  • Sydney 25 February
  • Online 27 February for those who can’t make the other events

Watch this space over the coming days for more information on how you can help to bring an end to child slavery and human trafficking in the chocolate industry..

Call to Combat Human Trafficking

Posted in February 5th, 2015

J_BakhitaReflection by Sr Anne Tormey RSM, President of ACRATH

Sunday 8 February, the Feast of St Josephine Bakhita, marks the first World Day of prayer, reflection and action against human trafficking. An article in Mercy e-News by Sr Anne Tormey, a member of the Institute of Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea(ISMAPNG) and President of ACRATH, helps us to reflect on the importance of this day. Thank you to Mercy International Association for sharing this article with us.

Sr Anne comments “our prayer on this day becomes one of lamentation for the millions of women, children and men trafficked across the globe for human slavery…this day can be an opportunity to learn about trafficking globally and locally, to pray for the victims of human trafficking and for an end to slavery, to commit to buying fair trade products where possible and to advocating for legislation to protect victims of human trafficking.”

Download a copy of the article here.

Best Call to Action, Best Use of Social Media

Posted in February 2nd, 2015

2015 Restless Press Southern Cross Catholic Digital Media Awards









In the 2015 Inaugural Restless Press Southern Cross Catholic Digital Media Awards ACRATH was placed first in two sections. Best Call to Action and Best Use of Social Media.

ACRATH is grateful to all who voted for us.  Thank you for your interest and support. Please continue visiting our website and our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay informed about human trafficking and what can be done to work against tis despicable crime. Help ACRATH to raise awareness about this issue by inviting your friends to visit our sites.  Read more…

Kidnapped and Sold into Slavery

Posted in January 28th, 2015

Josephine Bakhita NovenaNovena Prayer to Saint Bakhita

Pope Francis has declared February 8th,the feast of St Josephine Bakhita, to be the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking.

Josephine Bakhita was born in 1869, in a small village in the Darfur region of Sudan. She was kidnapped while working in the fields with her family and subsequently sold into slavery. Her captors asked for her name but she was too terrified to remember so they named her “Bakhita,” which means “fortunate” in Arabic.

Retrospectively, Bakhita was very fortunate, but the first years of her life do not necessarily attest to it. She was tortured by her various owners who branded her, beat and cut her. In her biography she notes one particularly terrifying moment when one of her masters cut her 114 times and poured salt in her wounds to ensure that the scars remained.  “I felt I was going to die any moment, especially when they rubbed me in with the salt,” Bakhita wrote.

After being sold a total of five times, Bakhita was purchased by Callisto Legnani, the Italian consul in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.  Two years later, he took Bakhita to Italy to work as a nanny for his colleague, Augusto Michieli.  He, in turn, sent Bakhita to accompany his daughter to a school in Venice run by the Canossian Sisters.

Bakhita felt called to learn more about the Church, and was baptized with the name “Josephine Margaret.” In the meantime, Michieli wanted to take Josephine and his daughter back to Sudan, but Josephine refused to return.

The disagreement escalated and was taken to the Italian courts where it was ruled that Josephine could stay in Italy because she was a free woman.  Slavery was not recognized in Italy and it had also been illegal in Sudan since before Josephine had been born.

Josephine remained in Italy and decided to enter Canossians in 1893. She made her profession in 1896 and was sent to Northern Italy, where she dedicated her life to assisting her community and teaching others to love God.

She was known for her smile, gentleness and holiness. She even went on record saying, “If I were to meet the slave-traders who kidnapped me and even those who tortured me, I would kneel and kiss their hands, for if that did not happen, I would not be a Christian and Religious today.”

St. Josephine was beatified in 1992 and canonized shortly after on October 2000 by Pope John Paul II. She is the first person to be canonized from Sudan and is the patron saint of the country.

Download your copy of Novena to Saint Bakhita which has been prepared by the Canossian Sisters.

Fight the Trade in Human Lives

Posted in January 28th, 2015

Joint Statement from ACBC & ACRATH

media bannerThe Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) and ACRATH have released a media statement for the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking.  In this statement Bishop Eugene Hurley, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life said, ‘It is imperative that we begin a journey of personal change when we mark the 8 February. Human trafficking exists in Australia and on this planet because we allow it to exist. Let us together, commit to eradicate this affront to our humanity.’  Sr Anne Tormey rsm, President of ACRATH, commented ‘The life of St Josephine Bakhita reminds us of the assault to the dignity, and of the suffering endured by every trafficked person.’ Let us take up the challenge of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Social Sciences from November 2013 when they declared ‘it is our moral imperative to make ours the last generation that has to fight the trade in human lives’.

Download the Media Statement and Homily Notes. For further information click here.


Stop Trafficking!

Posted in January 22nd, 2015

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 1

IStop Traffickingn this first issue of Stop Trafficking for 2015 you can read about faith leaders calling for an end to human trafficking, human trafficking of minors through social networking, shopping and slavery and other very informative articles.

Download your copy here.

Trafficking in the Tea Industry

Posted in January 22nd, 2015

Assam tea gardensJoin the Campaign

Everywhere around the world people drink tea. Tea is big business in India.Recent research has shown that the labour practices and working conditions on the tea plantations of Assam, a north-eastern state of India, are fuelling unique forms of vulnerability to human trafficking. Men, women and children are being deceived with promises of a new life and great work opportunities and are ultimately being trafficked and exploited within cities across India. Tata Global Beverages is one of the largest tea companies in the world. They provide us with such iconic brands such as Tetley and are the major shareholder of the APPL tea plantations in Assam. Tata has released a plan to address human trafficking.  STOP THE TRAFFIK is asking Tata to do more by showing leadership to bring about an end to human trafficking in the tea industry.  Three requests have been put to them:

  1. Be transparent about the steps the company is taking in this area.
  2. Produce a detailed action plan with clear deadlines and financial investment towards specific commitments to reduce workers’ vulnerability to modern slavery.
  3. Lead other industry players in a joint effort to tackle the root causes of the problem.

ACRATH invites you to take part in this campaign by signing an online petition.  Read more…

Youth Symposium Against Human Trafficking

Posted in January 20th, 2015

Pope & YouthInternational Declaration Issued

Young people from different faiths and different backgrounds gather at the Vatican in November 2014 for a symposium on Human Trafficking. The event was jointly organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the interfaith Global Freedom Network and the Argentinian anti-trafficking association ‘Vinculos En Red’. Young survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation were among those who spoke at the event.  The symposium issued a declaration in which they stated “human beings are not objects that can be commercialized” and they called on all young people “to break the cultural paradigms that condemn people to all kinds of exploitation.” (Photo:  Read more…

Daily Prayer to end Human TraffickingFeast of St Josephine Bakhita, 8th February

St Josephine Bakhita was born in Southern Sudan in 1869. As a young girl, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. She was treated brutally by her captors as she was sold and resold. She did not remember her name: Bakhita, which means “fortunate one,” was the name given to her by her kidnappers.  Her feastday, 8th Febrauary, has been named as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking. To learn more about the life of Josephine Bakhita download a reflection sheet,  or view a YouTube clip about her life. Homily Notes for this feast can be obtained here.

We are invited to prepare for this day with daily prayer as per the attached graphic prepared by the Sisters of St Joseph of Orange. Download a copy of the graphic here.

The Canossian Sisters have prepared a novena that can used to reflect on the life of St Josephine Bakhita and pray through her intercession.  Download a copy of the  Novena to Saint Bakhita.

Proclamation by President Barack Obama

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama has proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in U.S.A.  He commented that more needs to be done in the US and across the globe to uphold values of dignity and freedom for all people.   He urges every citizen to “take action by speaking up and insisting that the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the products they buy are made free of forced labor. Business and non-profit leaders can ensure their supply chains do not exploit individuals in bondage.”  (Photo: Read more…

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