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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

ACRATH Newsletter August 2015

Posted in August 23rd, 2015

ACRATH Logo 2015 - smallLatest ACRATH News

Read about ACRATH’s recent activities in the August 2015 ACRATH Newsletter.  Articles include the Forced Marriage Project, advocacy regarding forced labour, an update on the recent Attorney-General’s Department Grant to ACRATH, and many others. Download your copy of the Newsletter here.

UrmilaBhoolaReport of UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

At the UN General Assembly on 8th July 2015 the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Urmila Bhoola, presented a report in which she provided a thematic study on enforcing the accountability of States and businesses for preventing, mitigating and redressing contemporary forms of slavery in supply chains. The report states: “Globalization has created unprecedented opportunities for corporations to extend their operations across national borders, including to developing countries, in order to source the cheapest products and maximize profit. The demand for cheap labour meets a
ready supply of workers from vulnerable groups: indigenous people, minorities, those considered to be from the “lowest castes” and migrants, especially those in an irregular situation. Women workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in certain sectors given the nexus of gender discrimination and inequality.” Read more…

Help Stop Human Trafficking Concert

Posted in August 20th, 2015

 WA ConcertACRATH Fundraiser in Western Australia

You can be entertained and help stop Human Trafficking at the same time.  Come along to the Help Stop Human Trafficking Fundraising Concert on Sunday 30th August at the Loreto Nedlands Performing Arts Centre, 69 Webster Street Nedlands. Be seated at 2pm for a 2.15pm start. Artists for the afternoon include Terry Burridge, Chris deSilva, Carly Power, Christopher Waddell, the Waddell Family and the Archdiocesan Occasional Choir incorporating The Julian Singers. Accompanists for the afternnon are Jacinta Jakovcevic and Margaret De San Miguel. All profits for this event will be used to support the work of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans. More information…

Combatting Forced Marriage in Australia

Posted in August 13th, 2015

Michael_KeenanHouse of Representatives Passes New Legislation

The Hon Michael Keenan, Minister for Justice, has announced the passing of new legislation on Forced Marriage by the House of Representatives.  These laws clarify what constitutes a forced marriage and introduce tougher penalties for those who cause a forced marriage to occur. Under the new legislation a child under the age of 16 is deemed unable to consent to marriage.

Through this legislation the government is endeavouring to protect those vulnerable to a forced marriage and sending a strong message that forced marriage is unacceptable in Australia. Read more… 

David Jones Launches Ethical Sourcing Programme

Posted in August 13th, 2015

David JonesDavid Jones “Helper, Leader and Encourager”

David Jones Chief Executive, Ian Nairn, has launched the David Jones’ Ethical Sourcing Program.  The hope is that all 1,600 brands in the department store, whether fashion, cosmetics, electronics or any other product, will eventually become sustainable, environmentally friendly, and child and slave-labour free.  Nairn said David Jones he said was gearing up to be a “helper, leader and encourager” for all its brands to become ethical players. The store has already made progress.  While David Jones was given an ‘F’ rating in the 2013 Baptist World Aid Fashion Report, their rating in the 2015 report was a ‘C’. (Photo:, 2014)

ACRATH applauds this commitment and looks forward to the day when we can celebrate David Jones’ realisation of this goal.

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