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Fair Trade Communities

Posted in July 7th, 2014

Guidelines for School

Fiar Trade SchoolsSupport the global Fair Trade movement.  Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. These measures also reduce vulnerability to human trafficking.  Your school community can make a difference for those who are vulnerable by becoming a Fair Trade school and supporting initiatives that prevent the exploitation of those who are poor and vulnerable. Read more…

Canadian Parliament Passes New Laws

Canadian flagAfter 10 years of work by Member of Parliament Joy Smith, and many hours of advocacy by UNANIMA communities, on June 4, 2014 the Canadian Parliament passed Bill C-36, the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act, introduced by Justice Minister Peter MacKay in response to a Supreme Court decision (Canada v Bedford).

  • For the first time in Canada’s history, the buying of sexual services will be illegal.
  • For the first time, prostituted / trafficked women will not be treated as a nuisance but treated with dignity.
  • For the first time, the government of Canada will provide robust funding to help women and youth escape prostitution.

Read more…

Treatment of Young Women Inhumane

Posted in July 4th, 2014

Saddened and Angered Concurrently

Jane Branigan Photo 2As part of her theological studies Jane Branigan wrote a paper on human trafficking.  She explains here how she came to do this:

“I am married to Vincent Branigan, mother of Seamus (27) and Bridget (25). I receive love, joy and a sense of purpose from my family. Vince and I live in Benalla, and work at FCJ College. Youth Ministry and Religious Education are two of my passions. My Christian faith is the pivotal focus of my life.

I became aware of Trafficking in Humans through viewing the film “The Jammed.” Released in 2007, inspired by court transcripts and true events, the film tells the story of a Chinese mother arriving in Melbourne to search for her missing daughter. The daughter and two other girls had been trafficked into illegal prostitution in Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

I was saddened and angered concurrently. This treatment of young women in was inhumane and very wrong.

In 2012 I took five months long service leave from teaching to further my studies in Theology at Catholic Theological College, Melbourne. For the Pastoral Care unit I chose to research and write this paper about the trafficking of young women for the purposes of sexual exploitation. I hope that you are also enraged when people are treated as commodities rather than dignified people made in the image and likeness of God. ”

Download Jane’s paper here.

Behind the Bar Code

Posted in June 27th, 2014

Electronics Industry Trends

Behind the Bar CodeResearch conducted by international aid and development organisation Baptist World Aid Australia in conjunction with their partner Not for Sale, a U.S. anti-slavery campaign, is the second report in the Behind the Barcode series released by the organisations, stemming from a need to educate consumers to shop ethically.  With mounting pressure on the electronics industry to ensure worker rights are respected, Nokia was found to be the only electronics company out of 39 investigated who demonstrated they were paying workers sufficient wages to meet their basic needs in countries like India and China, according to a new Electronics Industry Trends Report.  Read more…

Remembering Carol Hogan sss

Posted in June 23rd, 2014

A Serene, Cheerful and Generous Woman

Carol HoganACRATH members wish to pay tribute to Carol Hogan sss who died on Monday 2nd June.  Carol made a significant contribution to ACRATH through the person that she was, through her taking up of the role of Victorian co-ordinator and then National Secretary and through her encouragement of a group of young professional women who wished to take up the fight against human trafficking.  At her funeral on 1oth June Sr Carole McDonald rsm delivered the following tribute to Carol.

“It seems very fitting that a woman who had begun her adult life as a Contemplative Religious in a Congregation devoted to the Blessed Eucharist, before turning to theological studies and ministry to students, should use those skills and inner qualities to work towards the extinction of all forms of exploitation in particular of women. Carol often said that it is difficult for Christians to celebrate the Eucharist completely while members of the Body of Christ are suffering through the denial of their human rights and dignity.

We members of ACRATH were privileged to benefit from Carol’s utter dedication to the education of the wider community about this evil. Carol gave not only her time, but more especially the fruits of her rich inner life of prayer, her insights and her ability to innovate with new ideas and to work towards their achievement. We will continue to miss Carol’s serene, cheerful and generous presence among us, her tireless activity urging us on and her reminders through the inspirational prayers she provided for our meetings, that God is not bound by gender. God was always Sophia for Carol and we commend her now to enjoy that abiding new life in the presence of Sophia/Wisdom/Love, towards which her whole life was directed.”

A Call to Action, A Call to Conscience

Posted in June 21st, 2014

TIP 20142014 TIP Report Released

Secretary of State, John F Kerry, has released the 2014 Trafficking in Persons(TIP) Report.  In releasing the report Secretary Kerry said, ” this is not just a book, it’s not just a report filled with stories that will touch you. This is a call to action. It’s a call to conscience….If the cries of those who are enslaved around the world today were an earthquake, then the tremors would be felt in every single nation on the continent on every continent simultaneously.”  Read more…

The 2014 TIP Report indicates that during 2013 there were 44,758 victims of human trafficking identified with 10,603 of these being victims of forced labour.  In this report the countries of Malaysia, Venezuela, Thailand and The Gambia were downgraded to tier 3 while the countries of Chile and Switzerland were upgraded to Tier 1.  As in past years ten people were declared TIP Heroes for their work in fighting against human trafficking.

Access the 2014 TIP Report here.

Supermarket Supply Chains

Posted in June 19th, 2014

Slavery in the Thai Fishing Industry

Supermarket Supply ChainsAn investigation conducted by The Guardian has revealed that some major supermarkets are using suppliers that rely on slave labour.  Prawns may be cheap to buy in supermarkets but the human cost of bringing them to supermarket shelves is unimaginable.  The long complex supply chain from boat to supermarket shelf is fed by human trafficking.  Many of the labourers do not see land for years at a time.  If they do not comply with orders on board they are beaten and tortured.  Learn more…

Marriage and Partner Migration to Australia

Posted in June 16th, 2014

Marriage & Partner Migration

Australian Institute of Criminology(AIC) Research & Public Policy No 124

Research described in the latest AIC Research & Public Policy Paper is the first in Australia to confirm that marriage has been used to recruit or attract women to Australia for the purposes of exploitation as domestic servants, to provide private or commercial sexual services and/or to be exploited in the home as wives.  The study confirms that marriage and partner migration have been used to facilitate the trafficking of people into Australia.  This form of human trafficking exploits the very personhood of the victim/survivor.  The exploitation described by victims/survivors interviewed for this study include:  assertions of ownership, debt bondage, deprivation of liberty, threat of deportation, labour exploitation (commercial and domestic), confiscation of passports and identifying documentation and domestic servitude.

Read more…

Out of the Shadows

VeraThe Vera Institute of Justice’s Trafficking, in collaboration with eleven victim service organisation has developed a Victim of Human Trafficking Identification Tool.  Tested with a diverse sample of potential victims of trafficking the tool was found to be reliable in predicting labour and sex trafficking. The tool will be useful for victim service providers and law enforcement when faced with someone who may be a victim of  human trafficking.  The tool consists of a 30 topic questionnaire.  It also contains advice on ho to conduct an interview in order to delevoping trust and demonstrating respect during an interview, maintaining confidentiality and understanding the effects of trauma and victimization.   Read more…

Message of Pope Francis to ILO

Posted in June 13th, 2014

Conference of the International Labour Organization

pope francisOn the occasion of the 103rd session of the Conference of the International Labour Organization (28th May – 12 June 2014) Pope Francis sent a message to the Director General of the ILO, Mr Guy Ryder.  During the fifteen day conference workers, representatives of business and governments of the 185 Member States of the ILO were discussing migration, employment policy strategies, ways out of informality and the strengthening of the convention on forced labour.

“This Conference has been convened at a crucial moment of social and economic history, one which presents challenges for the entire world”, wrote the Pope. “Unemployment is tragically expanding the frontiers of poverty. This is particularly disheartening for unemployed young people who can all too easily become demoralised, losing their sense of worth, feeling alienated from society. Another grave and related issue confronting our world is that of mass migration: the sheer numbers of men and women forced to seek work away from their homelands is a cause for concern. Despite their hopes for a better future, they frequently encounter mistrust and exclusion, to say nothing of experiencing tragedies and disasters. Having made such sacrifices, these men and women often fail to find dignified work and fall victim to a certain ‘globalisation of indifference’. Their situation exposes them to further dangers such as the horror of human trafficking, forced labour and enslavement. It is unacceptable that, in our world, slave labour has become common coin. This cannot continue! Human trafficking is a scourge, a crime against the whole of humanity. It is time to join forces and work together to free its victims and to eradicate this crime that affects all of us, from individual families to the worldwide community”.  Read more…

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