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Pope Denounces Exploitation of Migrant Workers

Posted in November 12th, 2015

Speaking During Visit to Prato

During a visit to Prato, an Italian town near Florence which attracts Chinese workers for the textile industry, Pope Francis chose to speak about the exploitation of migrant workers and the sweatshop conditions many of them have to work in.  It was in Prato in December 2013 that  seven Chinese workers, five men and two women, were burnt to death in an unregulated factory after working a sixteen hour shift. Pope Francis said this event was “a tragedy of exploitation and inhumane living conditions.”

Thank you Nestlé

Posted in November 11th, 2015

MiloMilo & KitKat are Certified Traffikfree

Nestlé, are playing their part. We were excited when ?Nestlé certified its chocolate products in Australia and New Zealand to prevent the use of human trafficking, forced and child labour in 2013. And now they have taken another exciting step! Milo and the global KitKat range will now also be certified. This is a massive milestone for Nestlé, and one that shows how powerful we as consumers can be!
ACRATH joins with members of STOP THE TRAFFIK in thanking Nestlé. You too can send a message of thanks by posting this image on Social Media, and tagging @NestléAUNZ.

Susan Coppedge Appointed Ambassador-at-Large

Posted in November 11th, 2015

susan coppedgeAmbassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons

President Obama has appointed Susan Coppedge as the Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. In this role she will lead the United State’s global engagement against human trafficking. The State Department’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons assesses global trends, provides strategic foreign assistance funding and engages foreign governments, civil society, other federal agencies and key stakeholders in the fight against modern slavery.

Ambassador Coppedge previously served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia. During her time there she prosecuted more than 45 human traffickers in federal cases involving transnational and domestic sex trafficking of adults and children, and labor trafficking. These prosecutions brought perpetrators to justice and assisted more than 90 victims of trafficking. Ambassador Coppedge carries with her the stories of these survivors, many of whom thought the system would never stand up for them. She has also worked closely with nongovernmental organizations in conducting community outreach and providing vital services for victims. (Photo:

Freedom Award for Sr Maree Marsh csb

Posted in November 8th, 2015

DSC00586Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Awards 2015

Congratulations to ACRATH member Sr Maree Marsh csb who has been awarded a 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award. The Anti-Slavery Freedom Awards recognise  the outstanding work and contributions of individuals and organisations for initiatives against slavery and slavery-like practices including forced labour, forced marriage and human trafficking .Maree’s award acknowledged the work that she does supporting men, women and children who have been trafficked into Australia through her work as a psychologist at Anti-Slavery Australia. One person assisted by Maree commented that through Maree’s support “I have come to realise how capable I am and what I can achieve.”  Maree has had a long association with ACRATH and was the National Chairperson 2012-2014.

ACRATH would also like to congratulate the other 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award recipients:

  • Alison Aggarwal from the Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Baptist World Aid: Behind the Barcode campaign – Australian Fashion Report 2015
  • Alan John Morrison, Journalist

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)

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