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ACRATH Newsletter December 2013

Posted in December 23rd, 2013


As we come to the end of another year  and prepare to celebrate the Christmas season ACRATH members and supporters pray for hope and healing for victims and survivors of human trafficking.  Articles in the December Newsletter include Women of Mercy, Human Rights Awards, Australian Catholic Youth Festival, a NSW Government Inquiry into human trafficking and slavery and reports on NSW, South Australia and Victorian activities.

Download your copy of the ACRATH Newsletter here.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in December 23rd, 2013

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 11 No 12

The December issue of Stop Trafficking is now available.  This issue look at efforts to stem sexual exploitation in the US and globally.

To down load the December issue of Stop Trafficking! click here.

Exploitation of People Through Trafficking

Posted in December 23rd, 2013

NSW InquiryNSW Inquiry

Community Relations Committee of NSW Inquiry

An inquiry conducted by the Community Relations Commission of NSW has found that exploitation of people frequently happens in family homes and businesses.  It continues to involve women in the sex industry but forced marriage and labour exploitation also occurs.  In releasing the report, the Chair of the CRC, Stepan Kerkyasharian, said the findings break  down the myth that the problem only affects women when in fact men and children  are also victims.  “In  many cases the perpetrators do not have to resort to any form of duress,” he  said.  “They  set the scene for the victim to become a prisoner of their own mind. That is the absolute form of humiliation and denigration of a person.”NSW Inquiry

Download the Inquiry report here.

SOLWODI Newsletter

Posted in December 23rd, 2013

Solwodi Newsletter logoStanding with Women in Distress

The December 2013 issue of the SOLWODI Newsletter speaks of SLWODI’s involvement in a campaign against the enslavement of women. another article tells of an Africa exchange project through which SOLWODI helps thousands of women and girls in Kenya every year through the projects SOLGIDI (Solidarity with Girls in Distress) and SOLASA (SOLWODI Women’s Sport Association).

Download the December 2013 SOLWODI Newsletter here.

Talitha Kum Asia Policy Conference

Posted in December 11th, 2013

ACRATH Members Attend Asia Conference

TK 1st Asia Policy Conference (2)ACRATH members Brianna Lee, Kathy Fagan and Noelene Simmons attended the first Talitha Kum Asia Policy Conference on Human Trafficking in Thailand 10-14th November 2013.  They found the conference to be a very enriching network experience.  Listening to the experiences of those working against human trafficking in source countries gave us a deeper insight into the plight of victims of human trafficking.

The resource speakers at the conference were Attorney Cristina Sevilla, LL.M. , the Policy Development and Training Officer/Legal Counsel of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking) – Philippines,  Ms Jean Enriquez, Executive Director, Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific and Ms Amihan Abueva, President of ECPAT Philippines and Philippines  Representative to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection on the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC).  Through presentations by the resource speakers, panel discussions and workshops participants reflected on issues such as  International Instruments and Model Laws on Anti-Trafficking in Persons, Legislative and Policy Advocacy on Anti-trafficking in Persons and Effective Approaches and Strategies in Combating Trafficking in Persons.

The policy statement formulated by the conference states, “We, Talitha Kum Southeast Asia, AMRAT and ACRATH, a network of consecrated persons against human trafficking, commit ourselves to become messengers of hope and protagonists of change, and dedicate ourselves to stop the de-humanizing slavery of our sisters, brothers and children; Inspired and encouraged by His Holiness, we continue on the path of service to the poorest and most marginalized of our brothers and sisters, in solidarity and assistance, with Christian compassion, acceptance, understanding and kindness”

Vatican Conference on Trafficking in Human Beings

Posted in December 11th, 2013

“Human trafficking is the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st century!” (Pope Francis, Easter Message 2013)


At the request of Pope Francis,  the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and of the Social Sciences, together with FIAMC (World Federation of the Catholic Medical Associations) held a workshop on Trafficking in Human Beings 2-3 November 2013. The workshop was attended by experts from around the world including  Australian lawyer and leading global expert on the international law on human trafficking, Anne Gallagher.

The conference issued a statement based on suggestions presented by the participants which states “despite the efforts of many, trafficking in human beings – the most extensive form of slavery in our twenty-first century – is a plague on a vast scale in many countries across the world. Victims are hidden away in private homes, in illegal establishments, in factories, on farms, behind closed doors, in families, houses and other places in the cities, villages and slums of the world’s richest and poorest nations. This situation is not improving but, on the contrary, is probably deteriorating.”   The statement includes a list of 40 proposals for media, religious institutions, civil organizations and business sectors to work together in order to combat human trafficking.

Download a copy of the Vatican Statement on Trafficking in Human Beings here.

Advocacting in the Australian Parliament

Posted in December 4th, 2013

ACRATH Raises Issues with Government

108 croppedFrom 18th – 21st November  ACRATH visited members of the Australian Parliament in Canberra.  During our visit we congratulated Parliament on passing the legislation, Crimes Legislation Amendments (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013.  ACRATH advocated for a federal compensation scheme for victims of human trafficking, asked the Australian Government to ensure our Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) reaches 0.5% of our Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015, and 0.7% by 2020 and asked the government to ensure that the supply chain of goods brought into Australia is slave-free.

We took the unusual step of advocating for funding for our own organisation.  Over the last six years ACRATH has been grateful for the grant it has received from the Federal government.  The grant comes to an end on 30th June 2014 and at this stage there is doubt as to whether there will be any further funding.  A number of MPs agreed to contact the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice in support of our funding request.

To download a newsletter on ACRATH’s advocacy visit to Federal Parliament click here.

International Day for the Abolition of Slavery

Posted in December 2nd, 2013

“End Modern-Day Slavery and Servitude”

ilo-campaignThe International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, 2 December, marks the date in 1949 of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others.

The focus of this day is on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour, forced marriage, and the forced recruitment of children for use in armed conflict.

Almost 21 million women, men and children around the world are still victims of slavery and forced labour. They are trapped in jobs into which they were coerced or deceived and which they cannot leave. More than half of them are women and children. Children alone account for more than a quarter of today´s slaves.

In his message for the 2013 International Day for the Abolition of Slavery UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, said “…[I]t is vital that we give special consideration to ending modern-day slavery and servitude which affects the poorest, most socially excluded groups – including migrants, women, discriminated ethnic groups, minorities and indigenous peoples.”

Methods & Motivations

A.I.C.The latest Trends & Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice published by the Australian Institute of Criminology reports on human trafficking and slavery offenders in Australia.  The report indicates that “between 2004 and 2012, there were 346 investigations and assessments by the Australian Federal Police of suspected cases of human trafficking, slavery and slave-like practices such as sexual servitude and forced labour. Forty-six individuals were referred by police for assessment for prosecution under the Criminal Code (Attorney General’s Department personal communication 2 January 2013), with 15 people convicted. At the time of writing, there were three prosecutions before the courts and one of these was an appeal from a lower court conviction (Attorney General’s Department personal communication 2 January 2013). Most convictions have been for slavery offences. The high numbers of investigations compared with convictions highlights the complexity of investigations and prosecutions for this crime type.”  This document deepens our understanding of why convicted offenders were motivated to commit the crimes of human trafficking and slavery and how they exercised control over their victims.

Download a copy of the report here.

Eliminate Violence Against Women

Posted in November 24th, 2013

Up to 70% of Women Experience Violence in Their Lifetime

Eliminate Violence Against Women

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Violence against women takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic. These forms of violence are interrelated and affect women from before birth to old age. Some types of violence, such as trafficking, cross national boundaries. Women who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in public life is diminished. Violence against women harms families and communities across generations and reinforces other violence prevalent in society. Violence against women also impoverishes women, their families, communities and nations.

Read the UN Secretary-General’s message for the 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women here.

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