World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking

Bakhita Web Feature

Slavery Free Chocolate

Poster Farm web ACRATH cropped

Campaign to Halt Forced Labour

The RAP website

Education Resource Now On-line

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ACRATH Members Present at Launch

ACRATH members were present when the Australian Government recently launched two important documents – the National Action Plan to combat Human Trafficking and Slavery and the Forced Marriage Community Pack. In releasing the National Action Plan Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, said, “Now is the time for a new vision; one that maintains Australia is a place where no one is subjected to human trafficking or slavery, and the human rights of all people are valued equally.”

The Forced Marriage Community Pack, a suite of awareness raising materials developed for frontline officers, community organisations, government agencies and vulnerable groups.  Also present at the launch were the Minister for Social Service, Kevin Andrews, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash.  As a member of the National Roundtable on Human trafficking and Slavery ACRATH has been involved in the development of these documents. Download the relative documents from the following links:
National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery
Forced Marriage Community Pack

Declaration Against Slavery

Posted in December 2nd, 2014

Global Freedom Network

Religious Leaders, including Pope Francis, gathered in the Vatican on the International Day against Slavery, 2nd December, to sign a Declaration Against Slavery. This is the first time leaders of the world’s faith have come together with the goal of ending slavery. They wish to express their commitment to the dignity and freedom that is the birthright of all human beings.

Pope Council of EuropePope Francis Addresses Council of Europe

In his speech to the Council of Europe on 25th November in Stratsbourg, Pope Francis said “Peace is also violated by trafficking in human beings, the new slavery of our age, which turns persons into merchandise for trade and deprives its victims of all dignity. Not infrequently we see how interconnected these phenomena are.  The council of Europe through its Committees and Expert Groups, has an important and significant role to play in combating these forms of inhumanity.” Read more…

It was announced earlier this year that the Pope’s message for World Day of Peace on January 1 will be entitled No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters. (Photo: Catholic Herald)

Trafficking in Children on the Rise

Posted in November 26th, 2014

Global Report on human traffickingGlobal Report on Trafficking in Persons

The UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2014 mandated by the General Assembly covers 128 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional and national levels, based on trafficking cases detected between 2010 and 2012 (or more recent). The Global Report 2014 highlights the role of organized crime in trafficking in persons, and includes an analytical chapter on how traffickers operate. The worldwide response to trafficking in persons is also a focus of this edition of the Global Report.

“Unfortunately, the report shows there is no place in the world where children, women and men are safe from human trafficking,” said UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov. “Official data reported to UNODC by national authorities represent only what has been detected. It is very clear that the scale of modern-day slavery is far worse,” he added.

The situation is particularly bad for girls and women. According to the report, girls make up 2 out of every 3 child victims. And together with women, they account for 70 per cent of overall trafficking victims worldwide. In some regions – such as Africa and the Middle East – child trafficking is a major concern, with children constituting 62 per cent of victims. Trafficking for forced labour – including in the manufacturing and construction sectors, domestic work and textile production – has also increased steadily in the past five years. About 35 per cent of the detected victims of trafficking for forced labour are female. However, no country is immune – there are at least 152 countries of origin and 124 countries of destination affected by trafficking in persons, and over 510 trafficking flows criss-crossing the world.

Download a copy of the report here.

Orange Your Neighbourhood on White Ribbon Day

Posted in November 25th, 2014

white ribbon day 2Eliminate Violence Against Women

On December 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25  as the annual date for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence. The end of the 16 Days is December 10, International Human Rights Day.  A white ribbon has become the iconic symbol of this annual event.

OrangeYourNeighborhood_350x228This year’s theme to mark the International Day to End Violence against Women 2014 is “Orange Your Neighbourhood”.  The colour orange, bright and optimistic, has been designated by the UN Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women to symbolize a better future without this pervasive human rights violation that affects as many as one in three women and girls worldwide. 

To learn more about what you can do visit the White Ribbon Australia website.

End Child, Early & Forced Marriage

Posted in November 24th, 2014

end early child marraige_edited-1Historic Resolution of UN General Assembly

The committee of the 193-nation General Assembly of the United Nations has agreed that members should pass laws banning child marriages.  According to UN statistics there are now more that 700 million women who were married before their 18th birthday with child marriages afffecting about 15 million girls every year.  Christina Kalamwina, the deputy permanent representative of Zambia initiated the resolution with Canada.  She commented that child marriage impeded poverty reduction, education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, child mortality, maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases.  The resolution points out that early marriage is also a serious threat to the physical and psychological health of girls who are not physically mature enough as it “increases the risk of unintended pregnancy, maternal and newborn mortality and sexually transmitted infections.”  Download the resolution statement here.

ACRATH Member in Geraldton

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Brianna Lee (Roatry GG)Brianna Lee Speak on Human Trafficking

Brianna Lee, a member of ACRATH and a PhD Law student at Murdoch University, has been researching human trafficking in Australia and Thailand over a number of years. She recently spent time in Geraldton where she spoke at an evening public forum, a morning breakfast with the Rotary Club of Gerladton Greenough, to a group of 100 students from Nagle Catholic College and at a late afternoon meeting with Midwest Multicultural Association. The Vice Chairperson of Midwest Anti-trafficking Group Inc. commented “The information Brianna shared with us was extremely valuable and has given us hope for the future.”  (Photo: Brianna with Rotary members)

Become a Fair Trade Community

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Sourcing Fair Trade & Slavery-free Products

Fairtrade communitiesAre there Fair Trade and slavery-free products, such as chocolate, tea and coffee, available in your school or university cafeteria, workplace staff room, parish or church? What about your kitchen pantry?

If not, why not become a Fair Trade Community!

Purchasing and consuming Fair Trade products within your community can help promote Fair Trade. Becoming a Fair Trade Community also acknowledges your commitment to Fair Trade.

This could be as simple as buying, consuming and promoting Fair Trade products within your friendship group, family household, classroom etc…

Alternatively, if your workplace, school, university, faith group or local council want to get more serious about Fair Trade, you can apply to become an official Fair Trade Community here. You will find guidelines, application forms and fees applicable to your community.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 11

The November 2015 issue of Stop Trafficking looks at the issue of labour trafficking and efforts being taken to address it.  Read about people being ensnared on fishing vessels and trapped in domestic servitude.  The need for transparency in supply chains is also noted.  There are a number of links to informative websites given at the conclusion of some of the articles in this issue. Download your copy here.

First Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner for UK

Posted in November 19th, 2014

Implementing Modern Slavery Bill in UK

Kevin HylandKevin Hyland, former head of the Metropolitan Police’s world renowned Human Trafficking Unit, has been appointed as the first independent UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner.  The creation of an Independent Commissioner is one of the main provisions of the landmark Modern Slavery Bill, currently going through Parliament.  Mr Hyland will act as designate Commissioner until the Bill achieves Royal Assent, expected to be next year. His work will complement the already existing role of Victims’ Commissioner. Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner will play a crucial role in driving improvements in the law enforcement response to modern slavery and the protection of victims.”

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland said: ““I have seen first hand how modern slavery can devastate lives and rid people of their dignity and humanity. I am proud to take up this position to work in the interests of these brave victims and to prevent more people becoming victims in the first place.”

The Commissioner will have a UK-wide remit, ensuring that modern slavery issues are tackled in a coordinated and effective manner across the whole of the UK. He will work closely with law enforcement agencies, local authorities and third sector organisations to encourage good practice in the identification of victims and the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery crimes, including international collaboration.  The Commissioner will act strongly in the interests of victims – and potential victims – by making sure that the law enforcement response to modern slavery is focused, coordinated and effective. (Photo: BBC News UK)


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