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Revolution in the Fashion Industry

Posted in April 21st, 2016

Rana PlazaThree Years On From Rana Plaza

It’s time to reform the fashion industry!  Did you know that many of the people who make our clothes work in shameful and dangerous conditions for very low pay? Three years ago on 24 April 2013, the clothing industry’s worst industrial disaster occurred. Fast facts:

  • The Rana Plaza, an eight-storey building, constructed on swampy soil just outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, suddenly collapsed
  • 1,136 people were killed
  • More than 2,500 people were injured
  • The day before the accident, workers had pointed out large cracks in the building, but their concerns were ignored
  • Most of the casualties were poorly paid female garment workers
  • 41 people, including the building’s owner, have subsequently been charged
  • At the time, 29 global brands had recent or current orders with at least one of the five garment factories in the building

Click here to learn more and to find out what action you can take to ensure your clothes are ethically sourced.

2016 Australian Fashion Report

Posted in April 21st, 2016

Fashion Report 16The Truth Behind the Barcode

Baptist World Aid Australia have released the third edition of the Australian Fashion Report. In a media release to introduce the report it is noted that “when it comes to the efforts of the Australian fashion industry, we’re continuing to see even more progress!” The report covers 87 companies representing over 300 brands. Significant improvements have been found in the policies and practices that have been put in place to mitigate the risk of child labour and forced labour in the companies’ supply chains. There is also an increase in the number of companies paying above the minimum wage to their workers. However the majority of companies are still not paying workers a living wage.

  • Download the full report and the pocket guide and use them as a guides when you are shopping
  • Tell you friends about the report
  • Write to companies that have improved their policies affirming their actions
  • Express your concerns to companies that still need to take significant action concerning their supply chains and labour practices.

Loreto Sisters at the UN

Posted in April 18th, 2016

ibvm-150x150Prevent Human Trafficking

The Loreto Sisters (IBVM) have devoted the latest issue of IBVM at the United Nations to the issue of Human Trafficking.  The Newsletter shares stories of awareness raising, advocacy, prayer and direct attention to victims. It includes articles about how parish interfaith groups can work to eliminate human trafficking, human trafficking and forced labour in supply chains as considered at the 2016 ACRATH National Conference and awareness raising through prayer and social media just to name a few. In Australia a number of Loreto Sisters are actively engaged in the work of ACRATH. Keep up to date with the work of the Loreto Sisters at the United Nations by visiting their website –

Gender Dimension of Human Trafficking

Posted in April 15th, 2016

HT & GenderStudy Commissioned by European Commission

Launched in Brussels in March 2016 Study on the Gender Dimension of Trafficking in Human Beings  was commissioned by the European Commission in the framework of the EU commitment to combat human trafficking. The report develops a series of recommendations, on the different aspects of the EU work on trafficking in human beings: victim assistance, law enforcement, demand reduction , new knowledge, measuring trafficking. Read more…

A Matter of Taste

Posted in April 13th, 2016

The Impact of Certification SystemsA matter of taste

Since 2000 the world has been aware of the scandal of children being trafficked to harvest and produce cocoa in West Africa. In 2001 the global chocolate industry publically acknowledged the use of forced, child and trafficked labour in their operations and signed a collective agreement – the Harkin-Engel Protocol – to eliminate it from their supply chains. Campaigning organisations started to see changes in line with this commitment when they began engaging the issue in earnest from 2007. The ask of the campaigners was for the industry to implement third party, independent auditing of farms and cooperatives at one end of the supply chain and on-product labelling for the consumer to know steps were being taken for their favourite chocolates to be “traffik-free”.
Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ have such certification systems. Their standards are set independently and their auditing processes are undertaken independently by third-parties. They then offer on product labelling for communicating with consumers at point of sale.

Over the years many people have asked how good this system is, what it actually achieves and how the three certifications differ. A Matter of Taste, a report produced through the work of STOP THE TRAFFIK, Baptist World Aid Australia and World Vision Australia, looks at the impact of certification systems in eliminating human trafficking in the cocoa industry. Read more…


Stop Trafficking!

Posted in March 31st, 2016

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 14 No 3

The March 2016 issue of Stop Trafficking highlights the negative impact of pornography in society, leading to the furthering of human trafficking. This issue also includes an article entitled” Challenges for Trafficking Survivors: Financial Stability and Housing.” While this article refers to the situation in the US, the challenges it describes are not uncommon in other countries. Download the March issue here.

Myanmar Garment Makers

Posted in March 31st, 2016

OxfamFrom Sweatshop to Switzerland

A recent Oxfam survey has revealed exploitation of workers in Myanmar’s garment industry. Reflecting on his reent visit to Myanmar Oxfam’s Head of Global Campaigns, Max Lawson, writes:

“Myanmar’s garment sector is expanding fast, now employing around 300,000 people – 90% female and mostly under-25. Daily average wages of $2.80 are not enough to survive on…almost half of garment workers are trapped in debt and have to borrow money to meet basic needs like food, medicine and transport. They work up to 11 hours a day, six days a week, rarely receiving sick pay despite this being a legal requirement. Many reported working into the night to meet impossible production targets, on one occasion sewing until 6.30am before restarting at 7.30am every day for a week. Safety was a big concern, with one in three reporting a workplace injury and many afraid of factory fires because of blocked exits.”

In the week Oxfam representatives visited Myanmar an Oxfam’s report, ‘An Economy for the 1%’, caused a stir at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, revealing that 62 billionaires now own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world. The report shows that the global economic system is skewed in favour of the top 1%, who have seen half of the total increase in global wealth in the past 15 years, while the bottom 50% have had to make do with just 1%. Read more…

Remember the slavesCelebrating Heritage and Culture

For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims at raising awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. The theme of this year’s observance is Remember Slavery: Celebrating the Heritage and Culture of the African Diaspora and its Roots.

In his message to mark this day UN Secretary of State Ban Ki-moon comments:
“It is imperative that we work together for equal opportunity, justice and sustainable development for people of African descent.  That is why the United Nations Remember Slavery Programme is reaching out to young and old alike to create awareness, promote understanding and change attitudes…The dynamic culture and traditions of Africa continue to enrich life in the countries that were once involved in the Transatlantic slave trade…Tested to the limits of their spirit and endurance, slaves from Africa left their descendants a wide range of invaluable assets, including fortitude, courage, strength, tolerance, patience and compassion.  On this Day, let us renew our resolve to fight racism and celebrate the heritage of Africa that enhances societies around the world today.” Read more…



Australia’sAustralia's International Strategy Commitment to Being a Regional Leader

Australia’s International Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery was launched in Bali on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The documents states:
“To better realise the vision of Australia as a regional leader in combating human trafficking and slavery, this strategy will amplify the impact of Australia’s international efforts by:
1. setting strategic priorities for our engagement;
2. enhancing our leadership and coordination; and
3. enhancing our advocacy, to promote regional and international cooperation in response to human trafficking and slavery.

The strategy also announces the change of title of Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, to Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking. The Ambassador will continue to advocate for enhanced international cooperation, and the new title further highlights Australia’s commitment to tackling this serious crime.

The work of Sister of Mercy and ACRATH member, Angel Reed Ph D, is acknowledged in this document. Angela and her colleague,Marietta Latonio, a Filipino social worker,  have recorded the experiences of women who have been trafficked into Cebu in the Philippines in their publication “I Have a Voice.” Read more…

GennyACRATH Member Speaks of Human Trafficking

To mark the occasion of International Women’s Day the Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in Canberra, hosted a Women’s Breakfast event at which Sr Genny Ryan OSU was asked to speak about the work of Genny RyanACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans).

Approximately 35 women attended this event.  Their commitment to eliminating Human trafficking was evident by their willingness to join in a campaign to write to Michael Keenan MP (Minister for Justice) asking the Australian Government to take active measures towards the elimination of Human trafficking in Australia.

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