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Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59)

Posted in March 10th, 2015

CSW59Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action

The fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women is taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 9 to 20 March 2015. Representatives of Member States , UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs)  from all regions of the world attend the session. At the Fourth World Conference of Women in 1995 the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was developed.  Twenty years on from this declaration the main focus of CSW59 will be to review the implementation of this declaration and the challenges that affect its implementation. CSW59 will also address opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda.

For more information visit the CSW59 Website or Facebook page.


IWD2015International women’s Day 2015

International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March every year.  It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities. The 2015 theme for International Women’s Day is Empowering Women,  Empowering Humanity: Picture It. The theme invites us to envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.

In his message for International Women’s Day 2015 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated: “This is a vital year for advancing the cause of women’s human rights.  The international community is hard at work on establishing a new sustainable development agenda that will build on the Millennium Development Goals and shape policies and social investments for the next generation.  To be truly transformative, the post-2015 development agenda must prioritize gender equality and women’s empowerment.  The world will never realize 100 per cent of its goals if 50 per cent of its people cannot realize their full potential.  When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.”

In 2015, International Women’s Day will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a historic roadmap signed by 189 governments 20 years ago that sets the agenda for realizing women’s rights. While there have been many achievements since then, many serious gaps remain. This is the time to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus greater attention on women’s rights and gender equality to mobilize all people to do their part.

Looking for Certified Easter Eggs?

Posted in March 2nd, 2015

28th Feb Easter HuntCan’t Find Them?

Join ACRATH and STOP THE TRAFFIK in asking Coles and Woolworths to double the number of certified Easter products they sell next year. They will start ordering Easter Eggs for 2016 very soon, so it’s urgent that they hear from you today. Order your cards today at or download a copy of the card here.  Take them into your local supermarket during your weekly shop. Your efforts could help to bring about an end to child slavery in the cocoa industry.

Looking for certified Easter Eggs in 2015?  Download a copy of the Good Egg Guide here.

Stop T/rafficking!

Posted in February 28th, 2015

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 2

The February issue of Stop Trafficking! highlights the complexities of modern day slavery and challenges those working against it to avoid over simplifying the solutions’  This issue includes an article by Australian Anne Gallagher, an independent scholar and legal advisor to the UN and Association of South East Asian nations, in which she gives a critique of the Global Slavery Index.

Download your copy of Stop Trafficking! here.


ACRATH Celebrates 10 Years

Posted in February 26th, 2015

ACRATH - WIN_20150226_154303Looking Back to Look Forward

ACRATH members gathered in Melbourne for their National Conference took time to celebrate the work of ACRATH over the last ten year.  Three founding members of ACRATH, Srs Margaret Ng rsj, Tania De Jong rgs and Louise Cleary csb, were present at the conference and shared their memories of the beginnings of ACRATH. They reflected on the small informal beginnings of ACRATH the passion that energised them to work against human trafficking.

ACRATH - WIN_20150226_154128They recalled events such as preparing a statement for submission at the Commission for the Status of Women in 2006, receiving government funding in 2008, successful advocacy initiatives with government and effective collaboration with government and non-government agencies. The contribution of another founding member of ACRATH, Sr Pauline Coll sgs, was also acknowledged.   ACRATH is now active in most states and territories of Australia and has a number of international connections. The atmosphere at the conference indicates that today’s members are fired with compassion for those who are trafficked and a determination to work against this modern day form of slavery.

ACRATH - WIN_20150226_175527An anniversary cake was then cut by the founding members each of whom are still active ACRATH members. Prior to the evening meal Sr Stancia Vichie proposed a toast to ACRATH.  In reflecting on the good work that has been done she reminded members who they represent today – the various women and men they journey with or for whose human rights they are advocating.

One In A Thousand Stories

Posted in February 25th, 2015

Front coverCreative Response to Human Trafficking and Forced Labour

One In A Thousand Stories is Brother David O’Brien’s creative response to human trafficking and forced labour. This 20-page booklet brings together his tapestries, his words, facts and figures and the thoughtful and sometimes challenging words of others working in the area.

Brother David, a Salesian Brother, decided to create this picture book a couple of years ago after returning from a 2010 sabbatical in Sangre De Cristo in New Mexico.

Bro_Dave1cropped“Among the wonderful things we learned was how to do needlepoint, weaving and tapestry. Also at Sangre we focussed on justice – a passion I have had most of my religious life as a Salesian Brother. So during the sabbatical I decided that when I returned to Australia I would join a group that was dealing with an issue of justice in the community. Initially, I thought of working with refugees but I guess God, through the person of Good Shepherd Sister Tania de Jong led me to ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans). One thing led to another and ‘One In A Thousand Stories’ came about,” Brother David said.

Download a copy of One in a Thousand Stories here. If you would like more information about the booklet or to use any of the images, please contact Brother David at

Women’s Voices Heard in Sex Trafficking Research

Posted in February 23rd, 2015

AngelaReedResearch by ACRATH Member Sr Angela Reed rsm

Sister of Mercy Angela Reed thought she knew a lot about human trafficking when she managed Mercy Care refuge for six years from 2001. She suspected that some of the women had been trafficked into Australia; now she is certain.  In the past decade, while researching and writing her Masters and PhD, Angela discovered that sex trafficking is a very complex global problem and there is no one homogenous sex trafficking experience. Importantly, she can now put a name, a face and a story to the problem, stories that she is keen to share.

Angela was recently awarded her PhD by the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne. In her thesis, Exploiting Vulnerability: A Study of the Lives of Filipino Women Who Have Been Trafficked into Sex Work, Angela has given a human face to sex trafficking and explored the complex lives of 40 trafficked women.  Read more…

Be a Good Egg This Easter

Posted in February 22nd, 2015

Be a good egg_FairtradeAre you buying #traffikfree Easter Chocolate? 

In the lead up to Easter 2015, support cocoa farmers and help stamp out child slavery and trafficking in the cocoa industry by buying and consuming certified Easter eggs.

Mary Appiah is a farmer who grows cocoa. The more cocoa she sells on Fairtrade terms, the more her community can benefit from fair prices and Fairtrade Premiums. So Mary is coming to Australia this Easter to stand with you, signing our petition asking Coles and Woolworths to increase their Fairtrade Easter range next year.

Visit and sign the petition!

End Poverty, Human Trafficking & Forced Labour

Posted in February 20th, 2015

WDSJWorld Day of Social Justice 2015

Today marks the World Day of Social Justice, observed annually on the 20 February to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion and unemployment.

Since 2009, the United Nations General Assembly has observed the date as a day to pursue social development and justice by removing barriers of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability.

“World Day for Social Justice comes at a pivotal moment for people and our planet,” UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon said. “Around the world, there is a rising call to secure a life of dignity for all with equal rights and respect for the diverse voices of the world’s peoples. At the core of this movement lies the need for social justice.”

The theme for 2015 is ending human trafficking and forced labour.

“This year’s commemoration focuses on the scourge of human trafficking and the plight of approximately 21 million women, men and children in various forms of modern slavery,” Ban Ki-moon said. Read more…

Where Do Easter Eggs Come From?

Posted in February 20th, 2015


Where do Easter Eggs come from is a video made in 2014 by a young girl named Sopheak.  She was inspired to do so after watching the documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate and learning about the ACRATH slavery free chocolate campaign. Great work Sopheak. Will you take steps to ensure the chocolate you eat is free of child labour?

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