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Stop Trafficking!

Posted in June 16th, 2015

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 6

The June issue of Stop Trafficking! focuses on the plight of thousands who seek employment only to be trapped in exploitive situations. It includes articles on the exploitation of domestic workers, Qatar World Cup 2022 workers, trafficking in the garment industry and the call for domestic worker reforms.  Download your copy here.

Slavery on Thai Fishing Vessels

Posted in June 16th, 2015

On April 4, Indonesian official put on wrist bands on recently rescued Burmese fishermen for identification purpose upon their arrival in Tual, Indonesia.Kidnapped, Sold and Enslaved

Recently 550 young men from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand crawled out of Benjina’s jungle, out of incarceration in tiny iron cages and off the decks of fishing boats. They had been slaves, kidnapped, sold and coerced as boys in their home countries, only to be brutalised for years by Thai fishing masters and their enforcers. They were rescued on 1st April 2015. The men had been forced to work 20 to 22 hours a day and were beaten by the toxic tails of stingrays and shocked by Taser if they fell asleep. So far two Indonesians and five Thais have been charged with human trafficking. The question needs to be asked:  how much slave-caught fish might have ended up on Australian dinner plates?  (Image: The Age, May 23rd 2015)  Read more…

NO To Child Labour-YES To Quality Education

Posted in June 12th, 2015

World Day Against Child Labour 2015World Day Against Child Laour

The International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it. Around the world, large numbers of children are engaged in paid or unpaid domestic work in the home of a third party or employer. These children can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Their work is often hidden from the public eye, they may be isolated, and they may be working far away from their family home. The most recent global estimates suggest some 120 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labour, with boys and girls in this age group almost equally affected. This persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment.

World Day 2015 calls for:

  • Free, compulsory and quality education for all children at least to the minimum age for admission to employment and action to reach those presently in child labour;
  • New efforts to ensure that national policies on child labour and education are consistent and effective;
  • Policies that ensure access to quality education and investment in the teaching profession.

Professional Development for Teachers

Posted in June 8th, 2015

Teacher day

Human Trafficking in the Curriculum

The ACRATH Victorian Education Committee has organised a Professional Development Day for Teachers in Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools on Friday, 4 September 2015. The Catholic Education Office Melbourne has generously agreed to sponsor this day which will be held at the Catholic Leadership Centre (CLC), Corner Victoria Parade and Hoddle Street, East Melbourne.

All teachers in Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools are welcome. The topic of Human Trafficking is being taught in a wide range of subject areas including Humanities, Economics, Business Management, Ethics and Religious Education. Teachers in these subject areas will be amongst the Teachers’ Panel members sharing their experiences and insights in the afternoon.

Download the program.

Download location, directions and public transport information for the Catholic Leadership Centre.

Teachers intending to participate in this Professional Development Day must enrol online on CEVN. As places are limited to 40 participants, early enrolment is encouraged.

Accreditation value: 6 hours Category C
CEOM In-service Code: 15WBS120A

Inquiries to: Carole McDonald RSM, ACRATH Regional Co-ordinator Victoria  at

Australian Visa Reforms Welcome

Posted in May 27th, 2015

australia-visa-stamp200New Visa Framework for People Trafficked into Australia

In a media release on Wed 27 May 2015  two federal government Ministers announced visa changes for people trafficked into Australia. The changes address concerns we in ACRATH have raised with the federal government over and over again during the past 6 years. I just want to acknowledge the tenacity of so many ACRATH members who have kept asking:

  • for changes to visa names so they don’t stigmatise trafficked people,
  • for access to English classes for people on temporary visas,
  • for better access to Social Security payments.

So many people in ACRATH have worked on this issue – by writing to, and also meeting with, the relevant Ministers, by speaking to many many Members of Parliament, and by working strategically with government departmental officers, Ministerial advisors and with like-minded NGOs.

“These changes represent our collective work with victims who have faced real barriers to rebuilding free and independent lives,” says Christine Carolan, Executive Officer of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH). For more detail see the Joint-NGO-Press-Release.

ACRATH Newsletter May 2015

Posted in May 13th, 2015

ACRATH Logo 2015 - smallLatest ACRATH News

The May 2015 issue of ACRATH News is now available.  It reports on experiences of networking in Rome, the 2015 Easter campaign and current advocacy issues.  An update on the government funded Forced Marriage Project is given. Liz Payne, the new employed Forced Marriage Project Worker, is also introduced. To find out more about ACRATH’s efforts to work against human trafficking download your copy of ACRATH News here.

Fair Trade Fortnight, 8-22 May

Posted in May 10th, 2015

Fair Trade Fortnight 2015You Can Make a Difference

Buying Fairtrade products means supporting better working conditions and a fairer deal for farmers in developing countries.  Farmers then have more control over their lives and can decide how to invest in their future. When you buy Fairtrade products you can be confident that the product has been produced according to internationally agreed standards which have been independently certified.  These standards include fairer terms of trade, minimum price for sellers of the produce and the protection of workers rights.

The protection of workers rights means that human trafficking and child labour have not been part of the production process.  Look for the Fairtrade logo nest time you are shopping for goods such as chocolate, tea, coffee, sugar. Read more…

Slavery in Australia!!!

Posted in May 7th, 2015

Slaving AwaySlaving Away: A Four Corners Report

A recent Four Corners report, Slaving Away, has uncovered the exploitation of migrant workers on farms and in factories in Australia. The workers, most of whom are on 417 working holiday visas, experience slave-like conditions. They labour for long hours, are underpaid and often live in sub standard conditions.  The fruits of their labours are sold in our major supermarkets and fast food chains. As a result of the Four Corners report exposing this situation the Victorian Government has announced an inquiry into labour exploitation. The head of the Queensland horticulture group, Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers, has backed calls for an undercover taskforce to crack down on the exploitation of foreign workers. (Photo:

Slaving Away may be viewed here.

Vatican & COATNETVatican and COATNET Team Up

The Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples has teamed up with COATNET (Christian Organizations Against Trafficking in Human Beings) in the fight against human trafficking.

Council President, Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, and the Caritas Internationalis International Policy Director recently presented a “Christian Commitment Paper” on human trafficking which raises awareness in Episcopal Conferences and Church organizations and provides guidelines in the fight against the global slave trade that affects thousands of people.

Linking together many Christian groups which are fighting human trafficking, COATNET aims to raise public awareness about the phenomenon; fight the root causes of vulnerability; advocate for policies to reduce the vulnerability of people to trafficking; advocate for better anti-trafficking laws; cooperate with authorities, churches and civil society to challenge human trafficking; restore dignity to survivors.

Caritas Internationalis International Policy Director Martina Liebsch says “The document is a call to explain what  trafficking is, what is behind trafficking but also what can be done by Caritas organizations, other charitable organizations and also by the Church hierarchy.” Download a copy of “Created in the image of God, treated like slaves….” here.


Australian Fashion Report 2015

Posted in May 5th, 2015

Fashion report 2015Behind the Bar Code

The Australian Fashion Report recently released by Baptist World Aid points to the increased risk of child and forced labour in the garment industry because most local companies are unable to trace or fail to monitor their supply chains.

Gershon Nimbalker co-author of the report said while there had been improvements at the final stages of production in the two years since the organisation’s first audit of the fashion industry, very little had been done to address working conditions earlier in the supply chain, where some of the worst abuses often occur.

“Most of us are at risk of being connected to slavery in the cotton fields because companies who we’re buying from haven’t traced their cotton to make sure that there is no forced labour and child labour,” he said. “We don’t want to see another Rana Plaza equivalent deeper in the supply chain before fashion companies start taking action.”

Download a copy of the Australian Fashion Report 2015 and become informed about the garments you are purchasing.  Use your consumer power to help prevent the exploitation of workers in the garment industry.

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