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Request of Women Religious to Pope Francis

J_BakhitaFebruary 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.  The idea for this day came after Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, and a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.

“On that day, we will lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope, and love for trafficking victims and survivors,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle. “If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference.”

Download a prayer sheet here.

Plight of Women Trafficked into Servitude

Posted in February 5th, 2014

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Study

AIC Trends & IssuesThe AIC has released a study entitled Help-seeking strategies of victim/survivors of human trafficking involving partner migration.  Co-authors of the Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice paper,  Kelly Richards and Samantha Lyneham, presented this paper after research that involved interviewing eight migrant women who escaped from situations where they found themselves in sexual and domestic servitude or doing forced labour.  They highlight the importance of educating the community and professionals from a wide range of sectors—including health, mental health, child protection, social welfare, social work, domestic violence, migration, legal and law enforcement services—about human trafficking and the help-seeking strategies of victims/survivors in order to support them to leave exploitative situations.

Download a copy of this research paper here.

Human Trafficking and Legalized Prostitution

Posted in February 4th, 2014

Research on the Link between Human Trafficking and Legalized Prostitution

Human Trafficking is a global problem with 27 million victims worldwide trafficked for forced labour or commercial sex exploitation.  According to the International Labor Organization, human trafficking is a $32 billion industry, second in organized crime only to illicit drugs.  A 2012 study published in the World Development, “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” investigates the effect of legalized prostitution on human trafficking inflows into high-income countries.  In the concluding remarks this study states:

“The scale effect of legalizing prostitution leads to an expansion of the prostitution market and thus an increase in human trafficking, while the substitution effect reduces demand for trafficked prostitutes by favoring prostitutes who have legal residence in a country. Our quantitative empirical analysis for a cross-section of up to 150 countries shows that the scale effect dominates the substitution effect. On average, countries with legalized prostitution experience a larger degree of reported human trafficking inflows.”

Read more…

Campaign to Halt Forced Labour

Posted in January 29th, 2014

Labour Trafficking Awareness Campaign Extended


Australia’s Catholic anti-trafficking organisation has expanded its major labour trafficking awareness campaign through ethnic media outlets in a bid to reach people forced to work in Australia for little or no wages. The RAP (Radio Awareness Project) will now also target print media throughout 2014.

The RAP campaign, funded by ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), involves Community Service Announcements (CSAs) in Vietnamese, Mandarin, Thai, Arabic, Filipino and Spanish. The announcements, supported by the Australian Federal Police and using text by Anti-Slavery Australia (part funded by the Australian Government), have been aired on some Victorian radio stations, but will now be rolled out nationally on radio as well as in ethnic newspapers.  Read more…

Congratulations Sr Pauline

Posted in January 28th, 2014

Pauline ColSr Pauline Coll Receives Australia Day Award

Sr Pauline Coll sgs, a founding member of ACRATH, has been honoured with an Australia Day award.  She has been awarded an AM ( Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia) for her significant service to the Catholic Church in Australia, and as an advocate for the protection of women and children, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

ACRATH congratulates Sr Pauline on receiving this award.  May you continue to be an inspiration for those advocating for human rights especially for women and children.

Forced Marriage in the UK

Posted in January 27th, 2014

forced-marriage-unit-uk_610x321January – December 2012 Statistics

The UK Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) has released statistics for 2012.  The report indicates the FMU gave advice or support related to a possible forced marriage in 1485 cases.  The age range of victims was from 71  down to 2 years of age.

Read more here or for more information about Forced Marriage visit the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) website.


Address Human Trafficking

Posted in January 20th, 2014

Words of Pope Francis to New Ambassadors

pope francis

In mid December 2013 Pope Francis met with 17 newly appointed ambassadors to the Holy See encouraging them to work together, regardless of creed, against the “slavery” of human trafficking.

“This is a true form of slavery , unfortunately increasingly common, which affects every land, even the most developed, and which affects the most vulnerable people in society: women, children, the disabled, the poorest and those who come from situations of family or social disintegration,” the Bishop of Rome told the newly accredited ambassadors, including the representative of Palestine, Dec. 12 at the Vatican’s Clementine Hall.  Read more…

Download the Pope’s address here.

Natural Disasters and Child Trafficking

Posted in January 20th, 2014

Post Typhoon Haiyan

Tacloban after HaiyanIn a Devex report Bishop Broderick Pabillo, convenor of the Philippines’ Interfaith Movement Against Human Trafficking and Manila’s auxiliary bishop is reported as saying, “During disaster situations [like Haiyan], a lot of people are desperate to look for work, shelter, and education, among other things. These particular vulnerabilities are the usual things offered to them by exploiters. It’s sad that victims are already suffering the effects of disasters and are still being put under human trafficking.”

He said one of the most pressing challenges in addressing this issue is a lack of awareness to the forms and causes of human trafficking. Being aware improves the rescue rate of human trafficking because people will be able to save themselves — something Bishop Pabillo hopes the aid and development community can further contribute to: “[Being aware] helps because when a potential victim knows who to call or who to go to, response will be immediate.” (Photo:  Jon Warren, World Vision)

Read more…

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in January 9th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 1

The first issue of Stop Trafficking for 2014 gives further insights into human trafficking by reporting cases of innocent people being exploited.  It also reports on NEST, a new curriculum initiative for schools to be launched in May 2014, and provides some resources to be used in eliminating human trafficking.

Read more…

US Presidential Proclamation

ht Awareness MonthIn proclaiming January 2014 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the US President Barack Obama declared, “Over a century and a half after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, millions remain in bondage — children forced to take part in armed conflict or sold to brothels by their destitute families, men and women who toil for little or no pay, who are threatened and beaten if they try to escape. Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity.”  While recognising modern-day slavery is a global tragedy and combating it requires international action he urged all Americans to renew their commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms.

Read the full Presidential Proclamation here.

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