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Stop Trafficking!

Posted in September 16th, 2015

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 13 No 9

The September 2015 issue of Stop Trafficking highlights how demand for services can subtly promote sexual and labour exploitation and subsequent human trafficking. Articles in this publication include Demand for services: exploitation and trafficking, Human harvest and Clothing industry: Argentinian Sweatshops

Download your copy here.

The Voices of Trafficked Women

Posted in September 16th, 2015

I Have a Voice LaunchListening, Relating, Responding

Sister of Mercy and ACRATH Member, Angela Reed rsm, has given a human face to victims of sex trafficking in the Philippines, the country where she chose to do her Ph D research, aided by her bi-lingual Filipina assistant, social worker and university lecturer Marietta (Mayet) Latonio. Through her research she explored the complex lives of 40 trafficked women through forming relationships of trust. Now 22 of those stories, in the women’s own words and at their request, are available in a book ‘I HAVE A VOICE: Trafficked Women in Their Own Words’, edited by Sr Angela and Marietta, which was launched by Faye Kelly rsm, Community Leader South C, on 27 August in Melbourne. (Photo: Anne Walsh) Read more…

Download an order form for the book here or order online

ACRATH in Federal Parliament

Posted in September 9th, 2015

IMG_1312Advocacy Visit is Under Way

On Sunday 6th September eleven ACRATH members gathered in Canberra to prepare for their week of advocacy in Parliament House. The two key advocacy issues for this visit relate to forced marriage and forced labour. After two days of advocacy we can say we have had some remarkable uptake of our key issues and some good advice about how we can move forward on some of our concerns. We have had positive engagements right up to Ministerial level on our proposal to have a flexible entry to Services for Trafficked People, enabling groups other than the Australian Federal Police to refer trafficked people into the Services. This could make such a big difference to the lives of trafficked people.

IMG_1812Mayet Latonio, our long-time counter trafficking colleague from Cebu in the Philippines, has presented newly launched research to the three Senators representing the Liberals, Greens and Labor on the rights of women so that we could encourage a cross party awareness of the voices of the young women trafficked into sex work in Cebu.

In many of our appointments the work of ACRATH has been affirmed.  When acknowledging their generosity in giving us time in a busy schedule, two senior MPs commented they were happy to give us the time as we are doing good work.

Successful ACRATH Concert in WA

Posted in September 6th, 2015

ACRATH Concert 103Audience Well Entertained

A fundraising concert organised by Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) in WA recently raised more than $4000. The concert was held at the Loreto Nedlands Performing Arts Centre on Sunday, 30 August, and was attended by more than 200 people. The funds raised will go towards supporting victims of trafficking, raising further awareness of human trafficking and contribute to current advocacy work.

Performances included the Archdiocesan Occasional Choir and Julian Singers, accompanied by pianist Margaret De San Miguel and conducted by Chris deSilva, who sang a range of songs, including Dvorak’s O Sing unto the Lord, Verdi’s Coro Di Schiavi Ebrei and Arcadelt’s Ave Maria. Local performer Christopher Waddell sang two spiritual pieces, as well as Abide with me (Lyte), and then a duet with Terry Burridge from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Ms Burridge also sang Agnus Dei from Bizet and Gounod’s O Divine Redeemer. St Mary’s Cathedral principal cantor, Carly Power, excelled in her renditions of Laudate Dominum, Bester Jungling (Mozart) and Faure’s Pie Jesu, in addition to a beautiful Irish traditional Oh Danny Boy. All soloists were beautifully accompanied by St Mary’s Cathedral Director of Music, Jacinta Jakovcevic.  Conductor Chris deSilva also kept the crowd entertained, contributing three numbers, of which When the Sergeant Major’s on Parade by Ernest Longstaffe was a stand-out, in addition to performing in honour of a recently deceased member of the Julian Singers.

ACRATH Co-Ordinator, Sr Lucy van Kessel pbvm spoke at the commencement and conclusion of the concert and said that in the time the concert took, some 240 children would be trafficked internationally. Sr Lucy paid tribute to the ACRATH volunteers and concert performers, who all donated their time and efforts to produce an interesting, varied program. She thanked the crowd who participated very well in the raffle and in giving donations.

ACRATH to Advocate in Federal Parliament

Posted in September 4th, 2015

parliamentForced Marriage and Forced Labour Issues

Beginning on Monday 7th September ten ACRATH members will begin their annual week of advocacy in Federal Parliament.  During their time in Canberra ACRATH members will engage with Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Ministerial advisors, Departmental staff and Embassy staff.

ACRATH will acknowledge the work of the Australian Government in reviewing the Human Trafficking Visa Framework and establishing the Supply Chain Working Group of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery. Advocacy issues will include the needs of those in Australia facing forced marriage and the needs of overseas workers facing forced and exploited labour in Australia. Read more…

ACRATH would be grateful for your prayerful support during our time of advocacy in Canberra.  Thank you.

Exploiting Vulnerable Workers

Posted in September 3rd, 2015

7-elevenMigrant Workers Exploited

A Four Corners Repot has revealed that migrant workers in 7-Eleven stores around the country are being paid minimal wage and working long hours. Instead of the award wage of $24/hour some workers are receiving as little as $10/hour with no weekend or penalty rates. One worker reported not having been paid for over seven weeks. Another indicated he worked 70 hours; sometimes 80 hours with low wages, no respite and no breaks. Another worker was warned not to complain because authorities would report him for working in excess of he number of hours his visa allowed.(Photo:  Read more…

Aiming to Reduce Violence Against Women

Posted in September 1st, 2015

Family Safety PackFamily Safety Pack

The Australia Government has recently released a Family Safety Pack in an effort to reduce violence against women, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. It provides information  on Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage. The pack also explains the rights of women coming into Australia on Partner Visa and where they can obtain support if needed. The pack, available in 22 languages, includes fact sheets on

AIC paper on traffickingAustralian Institute of Criminology Research

The Australian Government’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015–19 reports “the Australian Institute of Criminology is developing a human trafficking and slavery monitoring framework for the Australia (and the Asia-Pacific region) that will improve our evidence base for trends and patterns of trafficking activity.” A Technical and Background Paper (No 59) has been released by the Australian Institute of Criminology which comments on  the feasibility and logistics of monitoring human trafficking and slavery as it affects Australia and the options available to perform this monitoring activity. Read more…

Christine & ThereseACRATH Involved in
Style for Life Day

On Sunday 26 July, ABC 774 Melbourne and radio announcer Libbi Gore presented the Great Broadcast and Blow-dry live from a Hair Salon in Point Cook, Victoria. The radio segment was in support of the Style for Life Day; a campaign in which hair salons all over Australia donated their time to cut, colour and blow-dry people’s hair on Sunday 26th July to raise money for Hagar- a charity that works with survivors of human trafficking and human rights abuses.

ACRATH Victorian member Therese Power rsm and ACRATH Executive Officer Christine Carolan were interviewed by Libbi on radio about how human trafficking and modern slavery affects us here in Australia and how slavery and exploitation is used in the products we use everyday. Therese spoke about the individuals she supports and provides companionship to. Christine was interviewed about the Slavery-free Easter Chocolate Campaign, specifically what ACRATH have advocated for since 2009.

You can listen to the 2-hour segment via the two following links:
First Hour of radio segment
Second half of radio segment

Angela_ReedGround-breaking Book on Trafficking Launched

A ground-breaking book, focussing on the lives of 40 trafficked women in the Philippines and the sinister and structural oppression of young women on which the sex trade thrives has been launched. The book, by Sister of Mercy Angela Reed PhD, overturns the popular and sensationalised image of trafficking as a one-off event involving kidnapping and chains. The book, I HAVE A VOICE: Trafficked Women in Their Own Words, is expected to inform the anti-trafficking movement worldwide.

The book is edited by Sr Angela and Marietta Latonio with illustrations by Sr Marie Pegar SFX. For seven years Sr Angela and Marietta worked with the 40 Filipino women who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation in the Filipino province of Cebu. The women’s stories, told in their own words, reveal that the women, rather than being subjected to random acts of victimisation, were subjected to a slow process of victimisation beginning in early childhood; experiences that made them easy prey to traffickers.

“Sex trafficking is a very complex global problem and there is no one homogenous sex trafficking experience and those trying to combat trafficking need to understand the complexities involved in order to better serve the trafficked person,” she said.

Sr Angela, a long-time member of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), said for too long sex trafficking has been attributed to poverty alone. However, trafficking is more complicated and whilst the cause is demand for sex services, traffickers prey on those who have myriad vulnerabilities, which can include childhood abuse, social isolation, lack of education and specific ‘local’ factors. Tragically, for many women, sex trafficking is part of a lifelong continuum of violence that begins when they are young girls, some as young as three.

“Once we have a better understanding of sex trafficking, we can develop better responses, allocate aid and other resources more effectively and advocate in a more focussed way,” Angela said.

“There has been little research done that involves qualitative, in-depth interviews with trafficked women. Some quantitative research is being done, though that is very difficult because sex trafficking is an illicit trade. It is more important that we understand the nature of trafficking and its causes if we are to respond effectively.”

More than two thirds of the women interviewed by Angela had suffered sexual abuse from a young age. She said this challenged and even dispelled the common view that sex trafficking is a one-off event, or that young girls are snatched from their villages and safe communities and sold, or forced into sex work.

Download an order form for the book here or order online at

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