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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

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Ministerial Grant Acknowledges Work of ACRATH

Posted in March 25th, 2014

ACRATH_LogoFederal Grant Enhances Work of ACRATH

ACRATH– Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans – has just been advised that Minister for Justice, the Hon Michael Keenan MP, has approved funding for ACRATH of $360,000 over the next three years.   Minister Keenan wrote in a letter to ACRATH:

“I recognise ACRATH’s valuable contribution to Australia’s response to human trafficking and slavery through awareness-raising and direct outreach, and trust this additional funding will facilitate your future work on this issue.”

Sr Anne Tormey rsm, President of ACRATH affirmed the Minister’s announcement saying, ‘ACRATH is delighted to receive this funding which will further enhance our capacity to undertake the work we began 9 years ago’.

Sr Anne said, ‘ACRATH will continue to raise awareness amongst people who are newly arrived in Australia through the ACRATH RAP (Radio Awareness Project); we have made Community Service Announcements (CSAs) and print advertisements in Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Thai, Arabic 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 offered across Australia on radio as well as in ethnic newspapers.’  Read more…

Congratulations Haigh’s Chocolates

Posted in March 19th, 2014

UTZ Certified Easter Egg and Easter BilbyHaigh's Easter Egg

Haigh’s Chocolate are proud to be the first Australian-owned bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer to achieve international UTZ certification for ethically and sustainably farmed cocoa beans, which includes a zero-tolerance policy towards trafficked child labour.  UTZ certification puts Haigh’s at the forefront of a sustainable production program that spans cocoa-growing countries from Ghana in West Africa to Peru in South America.

UTZ certified cocoa has been used for all of the 2014 Easter range, including every Easter Egg and Easter Bilby.

Congratulations and thank you to Haigh’s for achieving UTZ certification and for making their Easter Eggs slavery-free.

Global Freedom Network Established

Global Freedom NetworkOn 17th March, the feast of St Patrick who was himself a slave, an accord was signed by the Vatican, the Anglican Communion and a leading Muslim Institution pledging to work together to end human trafficking throughout the world by 2020.  It is hoped that over time all the world’s major faiths will sign the accord.  The signing of this accord marks the beginning of the Global Freedom Network.  Andrew Forrest, founder of Walk Free Foundation, is a major partner and organizer of the new network.

In a joint statement, the accord’s signatories called human trafficking and modern slavery “crimes against humanity” and called for urgent action by all faith communities to join the effort to “set free the most oppressed of our brothers and sisters.”  (Picture: Vatican Radio)

Read more…

ACRATH Newsletter March 2014

Posted in March 17th, 2014


The March 2014  ACRATH Newsletter provides an update of various ACRATH activities including the National Conference and AGM which was held 27 February – 1 March.  ACRATH is currently involved with key campaigns addressing Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter and the Importation of Slavery Free Supply Goods.

Download your copy of the ACRATH Newsletter here.

Slavery Free Chocolate

Posted in March 17th, 2014

Are You Buying Ethical Chocolate?

girl posterDid you know that much of the chocolate available in Australia comes from cocoa beans picked by children, many of whom have been trafficked or forced to work in exploitative conditions?   It is estimated that there are at least 800,000 children working in the cocoa industry at present:  5-10% of these have been trafficked.  To ensure that the chocolate you buy has been produced in an ethical manner, look for the following labels: Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance or UTZ. 

How can you help?

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in March 17th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 3

The latest issue of Stop Trafficking highlights the steps women are taking to curb human trafficking.  You can also read about the contribution to anti-trafficking initiatives made by the recent recipients of the 4th Annual Norma Hotaling Anti-Trafficking Awards.  A number of resources are also listed in the March issue.

Download your copy here.

Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter

Posted in March 7th, 2014

Easter 2014Buy Only Slavery-free Chocolate

The Slavery-free Chocolate for Easter campaign was recently launched in Melbourne, Victoria, with students from St Bernard’s College, Essendon and Penleigh Essendon  Grammar School.

Let us not forget that even our smallest actions have the capacity to impact on the lives of others.  The Slavery–free chocolate campaign is designed to free those children, predominantly in West Africa, who are trafficked into picking cocoa to make the chocolate that we, in the developed world enjoy.  This campaign has already had great success, with chocolate manufacturers pledging to source an increasing amount of their chocolate from ethical sources.

The time to keep going is now.slavery free launch

Let‘s ensure that all are chocolate is sourced from workers who received decant and fair wages and conditions and that children receive the necessary education that will assist them to elevate themselves out of poverty.

When your school  purchases chocolate this Easter for fundraising, will you make sure that it is slavery-free???  Can we make all our schools – slavery free??? Can we encourage all our parents to buy slavery free?

If your store doesn’t sell Fair Trade Chocolate will you ask the owner or manager – WHY NOT????

Read more…

ACRATH Chairperson’s Report

Posted in March 4th, 2014

“I have come that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

reportSr Maree Marsh csb, the outgoing Chair of ACRATH, recently delivered the ACRATH Annual Report to members gathered at the ACRATH National Conference.  Maree reported, “ACRATH activities taking place across Australia are as many as they are varied.  Education, awareness-raising, advocacy, personal support of women and men trafficked into Australia, visits to parliamentarians as well as the development of networks amongst like-minded groups have been high on the  agenda… In valuing the work that has been done within Australia we also celebrate events that have taken place at an international level in relation to fighting against the insidious crime of human trafficking.”

Download a copy of the report here.

New President for ACRATH

Posted in March 2nd, 2014

Congratulations Sr Anne Tormey

AACRATH - WIN_20140301_102512t the AGM held during the ACRATH Conference in Melbourne 27 February – 1 March, Sr Anne Tormey rsm was elected to the position of President of ACRATH.  Anne has been the Regional Coordinator of ACRATH in South Australia for the last three years.   She has had wide experience in administrative roles and has a passion for working against human trafficking.  ACRATH members are grateful to Anne for accepting nomination and election to this role.  Anne is replacing Sr Maree Marsh csb who held the position of Chair of ACRATH for her last two years.  ACRATH members are grateful for Maree’s wise leadership over these years.  Her leadership has affirmed, inspired and challenged all members to be strong advocates for the human rights of those who have been trafficked and exploited.(Photo: L-R Srs Anne Tormey & Maree Marsh)

Under Age and Forced Marriages in Australia

Posted in February 18th, 2014

Coercing Someone to Marry is a Crime

It has been alleged that an iman married a 12 year old girl to a 26 year old man in NSW.  The girl has been placed in foster care while the 26 year old has been charged with having sex with a child and the iman has been charged with solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person.    A woman who is now 25 years old has also revealed that she was forced into marriage with an Islamic man at the age of 14.  Under the Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 coercing someone into a marriage is a crime with a resultant sentence of up to seven years.  The legal age for marriage in Australia is 18 years old  unless a court approves a union where one party is aged between 16 and 18.  In the 2011 census, figures for NSW indicate that three children aged 14, 30 children aged 15, 152 aged 16 and 483 aged 17 identified themselves as living in a defacto marriage.  Read more…

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