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Message of Pope Francis to ILO

Posted in June 13th, 2014

Conference of the International Labour Organization

pope francisOn the occasion of the 103rd session of the Conference of the International Labour Organization (28th May – 12 June 2014) Pope Francis sent a message to the Director General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder.  During the fifteen day conference workers, representatives of business and governments of the 185 Member States of the ILO were discussing migration, employment policy strategies, ways out of informality and the strengthening of the convention on forced labour.

“This Conference has been convened at a crucial moment of social and economic history, one which presents challenges for the entire world”, wrote the Pope. “Unemployment is tragically expanding the frontiers of poverty. This is particularly disheartening for unemployed young people who can all too easily become demoralised, losing their sense of worth, feeling alienated from society. Another grave and related issue confronting our world is that of mass migration: the sheer numbers of men and women forced to seek work away from their homelands is a cause for concern. Despite their hopes for a better future, they frequently encounter mistrust and exclusion, to say nothing of experiencing tragedies and disasters. Having made such sacrifices, these men and women often fail to find dignified work and fall victim to a certain ‘globalisation of indifference’. Their situation exposes them to further dangers such as the horror of human trafficking, forced labour and enslavement. It is unacceptable that, in our world, slave labour has become common coin. This cannot continue! Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide community”.  Read more…

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in June 13th, 2014

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 6

Stop TraffickingThe June 2014 issue of Stop Trafficking! highlights current legislation that would help address some of the injustices faced by victims of forced labour and sexual exploitation and cut profits to traffickers.

Download your copy here.

Economics of Forced Labour

Posted in June 13th, 2014

ILO Report Looks at Supply & Demand Side of Forced Labour.

Profits & PovertyThe International Labour Organization (ILO) has released a new report which looks at the economics of forced labour.  In looking at the supply and demand side of forced labour the report presents solid evidence for a correlation between forced labour and poverty.  In a 2012 report the ILO concluded there was approximately 20.9 million people in forced labour globally. The new  report, Profits and Poverty: The Economics of Forced Labour, indicates forced labour in the private economy generates US$ 150 billion in illegal profits per year.  Two thirds of the estimated total, or US$ 99 billion, comes from commercial sexual exploitation, while another US$ 51 billion results from forced economic exploitation, including domestic work, agriculture and other economic activities.

“This new report takes our understanding of trafficking, forced labour and modern slavery to a new level,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Forced labour is bad for business and development and especially for its victims. Our new report adds new urgency to our efforts to eradicate this fundamentally evil, but hugely profitable practice as soon as possible.”

Download the full report here.

Modern Slavery Bill Announced by Queen

Posted in June 6th, 2014

Bill Helps Trafficked Children & Makes Victim Protection Central

Queen Elizabeth IIThe British government’s plans to tackle modern slavery by cracking down on traffickers and improving the protection and support available to victims have been hailed as a rare opportunity to end an “appalling crime”.  The modern slavery bill, which was announced in the Queen’s speech on 4th June 2014, aims to consolidate and strengthen existing laws, increase the maximum sentence for offenders to life imprisonment, and ensure that victims’ interests are properly served.   (Photo: the Guardian)  Read more…

Fighting Child Trafficking During World Cup

Posted in June 6th, 2014

Play for Life, Fight Trafficking

Nuns Bottani, Castalone and Sammut hold the logo of an international campaign called "Play in Favour of Life-Denounce Human Trafficking," on the risks they say will be associated with the June-July games, as they pose in front of Saint Peter's basilica inAn international association of Catholic sisters are campaigning against human trafficking and prostitution during the World Cup in Brazil.  They are using social media, billboards and rallies in host cities to draw attention to the heightened risk of exploitation of sex workers and job-seekers in general.  The association called Talitha Kum — a Biblical phrase meaning “Little girl, get up!” — is also conducting training courses to spot signs of trafficking.  The campaign aims to inform and raise awareness among the population on possible risks and how to intervene to report possible cases.

Among past and upcoming initiatives will be ads posted on the sides of buses in Manaus, a torch-lit procession in Brasilia, talks in schools in Sao Paulo and handing out pamphlets at tourist hot-spots in beach resorts.  Sister Estrella Castalone, international co-ordinator of Talitha Kum, said that the World Cup was bringing in many workers from neighboring countries and from rural areas to work in bars or for delivery services. “People who accept job offers can be tricked and become victims of different forms of exploitation,” she said.  (Photo: Reuters)  Read more…

Who, If, When to Marry

Posted in June 3rd, 2014

Incidence of Forced Marriage in Canada

Who, If, When to Marry copyThe South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, or SALCO, recently released a report on its findings looking at 219 cases of forced marriage that were identified in the province between 2010 and 2012.  The report, titled Who/If/When to Marry: The Incidence of Forced Marriage in Ontario, found that both men and women in the province are coerced into marriage, but 92 per cent of those affected are women.  In 25 per cent of the cases, the people involved were just 16 to 18 years old when they were married.

The report lists a variety of reasons people are pressured into marriages — usually by family members, community elders or religious leaders — including upholding cultural tradition, family reputation and honour.  Recommendations on how to deal with forced marriages across the country include a national public awareness campaign, building a better framework for assessing cases and providing legal and social support for victims of the practice.  Read more…

untitled nations human rightsReport of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report outlining some of the factors that contribute to early, child and forced marriage and analyses existing measures to address and eliminate it.  The report states that “empirical evidence shows poverty and insecurity as one of the root causes of child, early and forced marriage. Although the proportion of child brides has generally decreased over the last 30 years, child marriage remains common in rural areas and among the poorest communities. In many communities, marriage is often perceived as a way to ensure the economic subsistence of girls and women with no autonomous access to productive resources and living in situations of extreme poverty. Marrying children can also have economic advantages, such as lower dowries for younger brides. Families may agree to the temporary marriage of their daughter in exchange for financial gain, also referred to as a “contractual marriage”. Poverty may also encourage women to marry foreign nationals for financial security, a practice which increases opportunities for trafficking in women.”  Read more…

Special Rapporteur Reports to UN

Posted in May 28th, 2014

Challenges in Developing Rights-based Responses to Trafficking

Special RapporteurUN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, has presented a report on her activities for the period 1st March 2013 to 1st March 2014 to the UN Human Rights Council. In the report she once again affirms “first, that the human rights of trafficked persons must be at the centre of all efforts to combat trafficking and to protect, assist and provide redress to those affected by trafficking; and second, that anti-trafficking measures should not adversely affect the human rights and dignity of the persons concerned.”  Once again she stated the rights of victims to access remedies for the harm committed against them.  “In substance, trafficked persons should be provided with adequate reparations for the harms suffered, which may include restitution, compensation, recovery, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.” Compensation is of critical importance to victims of trafficking who are likely to have suffered significant harm and lost valuable opportunities.  The Special Rapporteur further notes that a strong response from the criminal justice system is an integral part of dealing effectively with trafficking…. there should not be a conflict between the rights of victims and the responses of the criminal justice system, provided that the latter explicitly set out both to challenge the culture of impunity enjoyed by traffickers and to secure justice for the victims.”  Read more…Special Rapporteur

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in May 28th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 5

The May 2014 issue of Stop Trafficking looks at the the issues concerning oppressive cultural biases and traditions that have led to human trafficking related crimes that affect women and children. One article, Hotline to Help  Child Brides, tells of the efforts of Dr Eman Sharobeem’s efforts to set up a bilingual hot line in Australia so young girls can call to get help.  Forced Marriage was declared a crime in Australia in 2013.

Read more…

Foreign Aid Cuts a National Disgrace

Posted in May 23rd, 2014

ACRATH Speaks Out

ChristineChristine Carolan, ACRATH National Project C0-ordinator, has made the following comments about cuts to foreign aid announced in the 2014 Federal Budget.  ‘Our aid budget funds among other things access to clean drinking water, education programmes for girls, and counter human trafficking initiatives in our South-east Asian region. These are essentials for some of the world’s poorest people, and yet they come and go at the whim of the Australian treasurer.  In ACRATH’s advocacy work in the past two years, we have called on the Australian government to commit to an aid budget of at least 0.7% of GNI by 2015-16. This was the vision of the global community when the UN developed the millennium development goals as our planet began the new millennium – we could eradicate extreme poverty by shouldering our responsibility to build a more just world.  And how does Australia shape up now, one year away from the 2015-16 target? At present, the foreign aid budget is 0.33% and will, after this budget, be 0.29% in 2017-18. This is a national disgrace. And it needs to be trumpeted in the media.’


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