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End Child, Early & Forced Marriage

Posted in November 24th, 2014

end early child marraige_edited-1Historic Resolution of UN General Assembly

The committee of the 193-nation General Assembly of the United Nations has agreed that members should pass laws banning child marriages.  According to UN statistics there are now more that 700 million women who were married before their 18th birthday with child marriages afffecting about 15 million girls every year.  Christina Kalamwina, the deputy permanent representative of Zambia initiated the resolution with Canada.  She commented that child marriage impeded poverty reduction, education, gender equality and women’s empowerment, child mortality, maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases.  The resolution points out that early marriage is also a serious threat to the physical and psychological health of girls who are not physically mature enough as it “increases the risk of unintended pregnancy, maternal and newborn mortality and sexually transmitted infections.”  Download the resolution statement here.

ACRATH Member in Geraldton

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Brianna Lee (Roatry GG)Brianna Lee Speak on Human Trafficking

Brianna Lee, a member of ACRATH and a PhD Law student at Murdoch University, has been researching human trafficking in Australia and Thailand over a number of years. She recently spent time in Geraldton where she spoke at an evening public forum, a morning breakfast with the Rotary Club of Gerladton Greenough, to a group of 100 students from Nagle Catholic College and at a late afternoon meeting with Midwest Multicultural Association. The Vice Chairperson of Midwest Anti-trafficking Group Inc. commented “The information Brianna shared with us was extremely valuable and has given us hope for the future.”  (Photo: Brianna with Rotary members)

Become a Fair Trade Community

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Sourcing Fair Trade & Slavery-free Products

Fairtrade communitiesAre there Fair Trade and slavery-free products, such as chocolate, tea and coffee, available in your school or university cafeteria, workplace staff room, parish or church? What about your kitchen pantry?

If not, why not become a Fair Trade Community!

Purchasing and consuming Fair Trade products within your community can help promote Fair Trade. Becoming a Fair Trade Community also acknowledges your commitment to Fair Trade.

This could be as simple as buying, consuming and promoting Fair Trade products within your friendship group, family household, classroom etc…

Alternatively, if your workplace, school, university, faith group or local council want to get more serious about Fair Trade, you can apply to become an official Fair Trade Community here. You will find guidelines, application forms and fees applicable to your community.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in November 20th, 2014

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 11

The November 2015 issue of Stop Trafficking looks at the issue of labour trafficking and efforts being taken to address it.  Read about people being ensnared on fishing vessels and trapped in domestic servitude.  The need for transparency in supply chains is also noted.  There are a number of links to informative websites given at the conclusion of some of the articles in this issue. Download your copy here.

First Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner for UK

Posted in November 19th, 2014

Implementing Modern Slavery Bill in UK

Kevin HylandKevin Hyland, former head of the Metropolitan Police’s world renowned Human Trafficking Unit, has been appointed as the first independent UK Anti-Slavery Commissioner.  The creation of an Independent Commissioner is one of the main provisions of the landmark Modern Slavery Bill, currently going through Parliament.  Mr Hyland will act as designate Commissioner until the Bill achieves Royal Assent, expected to be next year. His work will complement the already existing role of Victims’ Commissioner. Home Secretary Theresa May said: “The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner will play a crucial role in driving improvements in the law enforcement response to modern slavery and the protection of victims.”

Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Kevin Hyland said: ““I have seen first hand how modern slavery can devastate lives and rid people of their dignity and humanity. I am proud to take up this position to work in the interests of these brave victims and to prevent more people becoming victims in the first place.”

The Commissioner will have a UK-wide remit, ensuring that modern slavery issues are tackled in a coordinated and effective manner across the whole of the UK. He will work closely with law enforcement agencies, local authorities and third sector organisations to encourage good practice in the identification of victims and the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of modern slavery crimes, including international collaboration.  The Commissioner will act strongly in the interests of victims – and potential victims – by making sure that the law enforcement response to modern slavery is focused, coordinated and effective. (Photo: BBC News UK)


ACRATH at CSSA Leadership Forum

Posted in November 6th, 2014

ACSSCHuman Trafficking in Australia and Advocacy

ACRATH National Executive Officer, Christine Carolan, gave a presentation on human trafficking and modern day slavery at the Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) Leadership Forum held in October.  CSSA envisages a fairer, more inclusive Australian society that reflects and supports the dignity, equality and participation of all people. During her presentation Christine showed the Anti-Slavery Australia community service video clips about labour trafficking into Australia as well as a UNODC clip on sex trafficking. She then spoke of ACRATH’s success in advocacy within Australia.

Voices of Trafficked & Oppressed Women

Posted in November 5th, 2014

G20 Prayer VigilG20 Prayer Vigils

PRAYER and fasting has been called for as an act of solidarity with marginalised people around the world whose voices will not be heard in Brisbane’s G20 Leaders Summit on November 15 and 16. The call from Christian Church leaders comes in the midst of a series of prayer vigils around Brisbane churches under the banner, The Lord Hears the Cries of the People.

The theme for the third G20 Ecumenical Prayer Vigil on Friday 31st October 2014 at The Little Flower Church Kedron was “Voices of trafficked and oppressed women”. Sr. Janine Bliss fmm, Queensland Co-ordinator of ACRATH, prepared the prayer for this event.

Your Voice Counts

Posted in November 5th, 2014

End Trafficking in the Chocolate Industry

MondelezActivists all over the world are continuing to raise their voices, together calling for an end to the use of trafficked child labour in the production of our favorite chocolate treats. The world’s largest chocolate companies have a vital role to play in ending this injustice. They must ensure that child slavery, the bitter hidden ingredient, is removed for good!

Click here to take action now!

Join the campaign so that Mondelez (owners of Cadbury, Milka and Toblerone amongst others) can be shown we won’t give up until every chocolate bar is traffic free.

Human Trafficking and Slavery in Australia

Posted in November 5th, 2014

Victoria Police sex crimes unitNumbers Rising

Recent media report indicate  that the Australian Federal Police(AFP) are experiencing a rise in the number of human trafficking and forced marriage cases being reported.  However there is still gross underreporting of these crimes and therefore few convictions. Many of those trafficked into Australia are too afraid to come forward.  Victoria Police are working with the AFP in an effort to disrupt human trafficking syndicates.  A campaign has been launched by Victoria Police’s sex industry co-ordination unit to educate state police on the indicators of human trafficking. (Photo: The Age, 31st October 2014)

Read more…

Trading Lives

Posted in October 31st, 2014

Government Responds to Human Trafficking and Slavery Report

Trading LivesThe Trading Lives: Modern Day Human Trafficking report resulted from an inquiry in human trafficking and slavery conducted by the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.  The Australian Government response to this report was table in Parliament on October 27th. ACRATH participated in the original inquiry and will continue to advocate on some of the recommendations of this report.

Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan MP releases the government’s response to this report…

Learn more about the Government’s response to this report…

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