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ACRATH Member at UNANIMA International

Posted in November 3rd, 2015

Susan NewlandBeginning Internship at UNANIMA

Having recently begun her experience as an intern at UNANIMA International ACRATH member, Susan Newland, was asked to introduce herself in the UNANIMA International Newsletter. She wrote:

“‘In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.’ (This comment written by Albert Einstein in an undelivered speech in 1955 is something I believe in.)  My name is Susan Newland. I am an Australian citizen from Adelaide in South Australia. Presently I work for Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) and am a member of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans). I hold a Doctorate in Education, a Master’s degree in International Law & International Relations, a Master’s degree in Theological Studies and a number of other qualifications that reveal my love of learning and my need to understand the issues that affect us deeply as human beings in a fragile world. My aim is to work for the “matters of truth and justice” to which Einstein refers. I am privileged to have been sponsored by the Brigidine Sisters in Australia for an internship with UNANIMA. I have already observed some of the concerns that make up the tapestry of needs calling for debate and advocacy within the United Nations. And it is within this promise of hope that the UN represents, that I wish to stand alongside those whose voices are calling to be heard and bring their story to the UNANIMA community and all who will listen.”

Australian Government Response to Trafficking in Persons

Aust Government ResponseThe seventh report of the Interdepartmental Committee on Human Trafficking and Slavery was tabled in Federal Parliament recently.  This report provides an outline of the work of Australian Government agencies during the 2014-2015 period. In the executive summary it states:

“The Australian Federal Police received 119 new referrals relating to human trafficking and slavery matters in 2014–15, taking the total to 588 since 2004. Of these 119 referrals, 93 were accepted for further investigation. Twenty-nine per cent of these referrals related to sexual exploitation, 28 per cent related to other forms of labour exploitation, 28 per cent to forced marriage, and the remainder related to other types of exploitation. As at 30 June 2015, two Commonwealth human trafficking and slavery-related matters were before the courts, involving four defendants.”

Click here to access a copy of the report.

ACRATH Calendar 2016

Posted in October 29th, 2015

calendar 2016Support the Work of ACRATH

The ACRATH calendar, first published in 2015, created awareness of human trafficking globally and here in Australia.

We hope this 2016 edition continues to:

  • Promote awareness of human trafficking issues
  • Promote ACRATH and its work
  • Showcase some of the anti-trafficking work being done by a range of organisations worldwide and within Australia
  • Fundraise for ACRATH’s work
  • Provide some income for a project in South East Asia supporting victims of human trafficking

Help raise awareness about human trafficking by purchasing a Calendar for yourself, a family member, friend or work colleague. The ACRATH Calendar makes a great Christmas gift. Download the order form here.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in October 19th, 2015

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 10

The Stop Trafficking! October 2015 issue reflects on the interrelationship of social unrest and war with the spread and persistence of human trafficking among vulnerable populations. Articles include Slavery in times of war: exploitation and war,  ‘Comfort women’ in World War II and UN peacekeeping forces. This issue also has a summary of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

Download your copy of the October issue of Stop Trafficking!

Unlock the Power of girls

Posted in October 13th, 2015

Video to Mark International Day of the Girl

Child rights organisation Plan International commissioned this video – Unlock the Power of Girls – to mark International Day of the Girl in 2015.  Based on the poem “Yet” written by young British writer, singer and performer Keisha Thompson, it features 13 girls from Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Liberia, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Thailand and Sierra Leone. they all have one message – you haven’t seen the best of us yet. By empowering young woman and helping them to realise their potential we protect their dignity and human rights. Their vulnerability to being victims of human trafficking is also decreased.

Vale Pauline Coll sgs, AOM

Posted in October 11th, 2015

A Passion for Justice and the Promotion of Human Rights

Pauline ColACRATH members mourn the loss of Good Samaritan Sister, Pauline Coll, co-founder of ACRATH.

Pauline, a true Good Samaritan woman, recognised the unmet needs of vulnerable people being trafficked into Australia, and determined to address these.  Pauline had a passion for justice and the promotion of human rights. She held a deep belief in collaborative action and brought her energetic commitment to the formation of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans as its first chairperson. Pauline had a heart for those we serve and vision that drove strategic action to bring about change. ACRATH members have precious memories of Pauline’s enthusiasm and creativity which brought spirit and life to this work for justice.

ACRATH offers loving sympathy to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan on the loss of their grace-filled woman of the gospel, Pauline:

May she be embraced by God in whom
dawn and twilight are one and may
her longing inhabit its deepest dreams
within the shelter of the Great Belonging.
John O’Donohue)

International Day of the Girl Child

Posted in October 11th, 2015

day of the girl 2015The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year’s theme for this day focuses on adolescent girls and the Sustainable Development Goals, which set a range of international targets, including on gender equality, to be achieved by 2030.

In his message for this day UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said, “Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030…Let us resolve to invest in today’s adolescent girls so that tomorrow they can stand strong as citizens, political leaders, entrepreneurs, heads of their households and more. This will secure their rights and our common future.” Read more…

ACRATH Education Resource

Posted in October 5th, 2015

Training Day for Secondary TeachersACRATH_PD_Day1_040915_AW

On 4th Sept.2015, the Education Committee of the Victorian Region of ACRATH led by Ms Anne Walsh held a Training Day for senior secondary teachers on the Education Program as found on the website. We were fortunate to be sponsored and financially supported by the Melbourne Catholic Education Office without which ACRATH could not have offered such an important program. Participating teachers received appropriate accreditation by the Office.

ACRATH_PD_Day12_040915_AWThere were 34 participants form 21 schools including five boys’ schools,  which was very pleasing. Included in the program were 3 Keynote addresses by

  • Louise Cleary CSB founding member of ACRATH, – The History of ACRATH and an overview of trafficking worldwide;
  • Senior Sergeant Marilynn Ross, head of SICU (Sex Industry Coordination Unit of the Victorian Police Force) – A presentation explaining something of  sex trafficking in Melbourne and how police are dealing with the problem
  • Liz Turner Community Organiser of NUW (National Union of Workers). -The problem of slave-like conditions in the workforce, particularly in rural areas in Australia.

ACRATH_PD_Day4_040915_AWAnother feature of the day was a Forum of six teachers from a cross-section of secondary schools  (all boys, co-educational and all girls,) presenting the ways they use the education material from the Education Program in their classrooms with their particular areas of study. All participants had the opportunity to share their own teaching experiences.

Evaluations of the day suggested that the day was very successful and all teachers went away with plans to inform other staff members in order that they might include this important are in their programs for 2016 if they had not already begun to do so.

ACRATH_PD_Day9_040915_AWThe Victorian Education Committee has plans to hold another Training Day next year in conjunction with the Melbourne Catholic Education Office.

Carole McDonald RSM
Regional Coordinator ACRATH Victoria
21st Sept 2015

Freedom Sunday – 18th October 2015

Posted in September 29th, 2015

Global Day of Worship, Prayer and Action on Human Trafficking

freedomsunday_444by264pxIn 2015 Freedom Sunday will be celebrated on Sunday 18th October. Churches all over the world will join together to raise awareness of the crime of human trafficking and show the world our compassion for men, women and children who are trafficked and exploited emotionally, phsyically and sexually. The churches will demonstrate a united and tangible response against human trafficking.

Download the free Freedom Sunday Resource Package here.

Abusive and Fraudulent Labour Recruitment

Posted in September 28th, 2015

UNODCILOA Call to Prevent and Respond

In today’s globalized economy, workers are increasingly compelled to look for job opportunities far away from home, and many find employment in countries other than their own. While labour mobility brings benefits to millions of workers and their family members, for many it comes at a high price, particularly when it is not properly regulated. Across the world, however, concerns are being raised about unscrupulous employment agencies, informal labour recruiters and criminal traffickers who prey on the low-skilled and migrant workers in particular, acting outside legal and regulatory frameworks. Reported abuses include deception about the nature and conditions of work, retention of passports, deposits and illegal wage deductions, charging of recruitment fees to workers, debt bondage linked to the repayment of recruitment fees, and threats of violence or deportation. These abuses derive from gaps in the governance of labour recruitment, especially across international borders.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have joined forces to promote fair recruitment practices within and across countries in an effort to prevent human trafficking and forced labour within and across borders.  Read more…

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