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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

ACRATH Slide: Latest News

Law to Take Effect in June 2014

law2After being signed into law at the end of March, American Samoa’s new anti-human trafficking laws will come into effect in June.  Acting Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga said the legislation will allow the government to investigate and prosecute those who would exploit others.  He also said, “There have been human trafficking cases in American Samoa recently, and the victims haven’t been limited by age, gender, ethnicity, nationality or village.”   The law also mandates that a human trafficking task force collect data, and recommend policies and procedures.

The new law makes human trafficking punishable by five to ten years in prison, with ten years being mandatory for trafficking a minor.  Advocates for victims of human trafficking welcome the new law saying it will raise awareness about behaviour that may be identified as human trafficking.

Interantion Day victims of slavery 2014Victory Over Slavery:  Haiti and Beyond

Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. This day is also an opportunity to raise awareness about modern day slavery.

This year’s theme, “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond” pays tribute to the fight against slavery in nations around the world. It recalls that Haiti was the first nation to become independent as a result of the struggle of enslaved men and women led by Toussaint Louverture.

Read more… 

Ministerial Grant Acknowledges Work of ACRATH

Posted in March 25th, 2014
by ACRATH

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
by ACRATH

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
by ACRATH

ACRATH_LogoLatest ACRATH News

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
by ACRATH

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
by ACRATH

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
by ACRATH

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
by ACRATH

“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.

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