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Slavery Free Chocolate

Posted in March 17th, 2014

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

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

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

“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.

New President for ACRATH

Posted in March 2nd, 2014

Congratulations Sr Anne Tormey

AACRATH - WIN_20140301_102512t the AGM held during the ACRATH Conference in Melbourne 27 February – 1 March, Sr Anne Tormey rsm was elected to the position of President of ACRATH.  Anne has been the Regional Coordinator of ACRATH in South Australia for the last three years.   She has had wide experience in administrative roles and has a passion for working against human trafficking.  ACRATH members are grateful to Anne for accepting nomination and election to this role.  Anne is replacing Sr Maree Marsh csb who held the position of Chair of ACRATH for her last two years.  ACRATH members are grateful for Maree’s wise leadership over these years.  Her leadership has affirmed, inspired and challenged all members to be strong advocates for the human rights of those who have been trafficked and exploited.(Photo: L-R Srs Anne Tormey & Maree Marsh)

Under Age and Forced Marriages in Australia

Posted in February 18th, 2014

Coercing Someone to Marry is a Crime

It has been alleged that an iman married a 12 year old girl to a 26 year old man in NSW.  The girl has been placed in foster care while the 26 year old has been charged with having sex with a child and the iman has been charged with solemnisation of a marriage by an unauthorised person.    A woman who is now 25 years old has also revealed that she was forced into marriage with an Islamic man at the age of 14.  Under the Crimes Legislation Amendment Act 2013 coercing someone into a marriage is a crime with a resultant sentence of up to seven years.  The legal age for marriage in Australia is 18 years old  unless a court approves a union where one party is aged between 16 and 18.  In the 2011 census, figures for NSW indicate that three children aged 14, 30 children aged 15, 152 aged 16 and 483 aged 17 identified themselves as living in a defacto marriage.  Read more…

Stop Trafficking

Posted in February 17th, 2014

Anti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 12 No 2

Stop Trafficking

The February 2014 issue of Stop Trafficking  contains a number of article examining the debate about the link between human trafficking and prostitution.  The newsletter also reports that pornography is off the pay-per-view menu of all 171 Nordic Choice Hotels, Scandinavia’s largest hotel group.  This action was taken as part of the company’s work with UNICEF to combat child trafficking and sexual exploitation.  Read more…

Be a Good Egg This Easter

Posted in February 11th, 2014

Easter 2014

Buy Slavery-Free Chocolate

Presently children as young as 12 years old are picking cocoa in West Africa to make the chocolate we eat. Some of these children are trafficked.  Most are forced to pick cocoa from an early age for minimal or no wages, for long hours, in dangerous working conditions, without any possibility of attending school.  Most of these children have never tasted chocolate.

Five years ago Australian supermarkets did not have any Easter chocolate certified as slavery-free, but in 2013 there were at least six slavery-free Easter eggs and rabbits available.  Products available in 2013 were:

  • Divine eggs (milk & dark)
  • Green & Black eggs (milk & dark)
  • Chocolatier eggs (milk & dark)
  • Chocolatier (3 rabbits boxed with 3 tiny eggs)
  • Cadbury dairy milk eggs 
  • Oxfam chocolates – a large range of chocolate bars

It is hoped that in 2014 Haighs will have a slavery-free product.  If you know of other slave-free products available for Easter 2014, please email us at

You can help to work against child slavery.  Download a booklet to assist in promoting slavery-free chocolate this Easter here

What You Can DoBuy It

These are some actions we can recommend to people for the Easter fair trade chocolate campaign

  • Click here to watch an Oxfam two and a half minute clip on Youtube called 45,000 reasons to swap to fairtrade chocolate 
  • Download this webpage at the ABC 4 Corners site on Chocolate: the Bitter Truth
  • View Chocolate: the Bitter Truth here.
  •  The Good Chocolate Guide to Australia can be downloaded here.
  • The comprehensive 2012 Global Barometer, a joint initiative by the VOICE network at can be viewed here.
  • The World Vision website resources called Chocolate’s bitter taste can be viewed here.

Request of Women Religious to Pope Francis

J_BakhitaFebruary 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering.  The idea for this day came after Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, and a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting.

“On that day, we will lift our voices loudly in prayer, hope, and love for trafficking victims and survivors,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., auxiliary bishop of Seattle. “If just one person realizes from this day that they or someone they know is being trafficked, we will have made a difference.”

Download a prayer sheet here.

Plight of Women Trafficked into Servitude

Posted in February 5th, 2014

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) Study

AIC Trends & IssuesThe AIC has released a study entitled Help-seeking strategies of victim/survivors of human trafficking involving partner migration.  Co-authors of the Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice paper,  Kelly Richards and Samantha Lyneham, presented this paper after research that involved interviewing eight migrant women who escaped from situations where they found themselves in sexual and domestic servitude or doing forced labour.  They highlight the importance of educating the community and professionals from a wide range of sectors—including health, mental health, child protection, social welfare, social work, domestic violence, migration, legal and law enforcement services—about human trafficking and the help-seeking strategies of victims/survivors in order to support them to leave exploitative situations.

Download a copy of this research paper here.

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