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Trafficking in the Tea Industry

Posted in January 22nd, 2015

Assam tea gardensJoin the Campaign

Everywhere around the world people drink tea. Tea is big business in India.Recent research has shown that the labour practices and working conditions on the tea plantations of Assam, a north-eastern state of India, are fuelling unique forms of vulnerability to human trafficking. Men, women and children are being deceived with promises of a new life and great work opportunities and are ultimately being trafficked and exploited within cities across India. Tata Global Beverages is one of the largest tea companies in the world. They provide us with such iconic brands such as Tetley and are the major shareholder of the APPL tea plantations in Assam. Tata has released a plan to address human trafficking.  STOP THE TRAFFIK is asking Tata to do more by showing leadership to bring about an end to human trafficking in the tea industry.  Three requests have been put to them:

  1. Be transparent about the steps the company is taking in this area.
  2. Produce a detailed action plan with clear deadlines and financial investment towards specific commitments to reduce workers’ vulnerability to modern slavery.
  3. Lead other industry players in a joint effort to tackle the root causes of the problem.

ACRATH invites you to take part in this campaign by signing an online petition.  Read more…

Youth Symposium Against Human Trafficking

Posted in January 20th, 2015

Pope & YouthInternational Declaration Issued

Young people from different faiths and different backgrounds gather at the Vatican in November 2014 for a symposium on Human Trafficking. The event was jointly organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the interfaith Global Freedom Network and the Argentinian anti-trafficking association ‘Vinculos En Red’. Young survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation were among those who spoke at the event.  The symposium issued a declaration in which they stated “human beings are not objects that can be commercialized” and they called on all young people “to break the cultural paradigms that condemn people to all kinds of exploitation.” (Photo:  Read more…

Daily Prayer to end Human TraffickingFeast of St Josephine Bakhita, 8th February

St Josephine Bakhita was born in Southern Sudan in 1869. As a young girl, she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. She was treated brutally by her captors as she was sold and resold. She did not remember her name: Bakhita, which means “fortunate one,” was the name given to her by her kidnappers.  Her feastday, 8th Febrauary, has been named as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking. To learn more about the life of Josephine Bakhita download a reflection sheet,  or view a YouTube clip about her life. Homily Notes for this feast can be obtained here.

We are invited to prepare for this day with daily prayer as per the attached graphic prepared by the Sisters of St Joseph of Orange. Download a copy of the graphic here.

The Canossian Sisters have prepared a novena that can used to reflect on the life of St Josephine Bakhita and pray through her intercession.  Download a copy of the  Novena to Saint Bakhita.

Proclamation by President Barack Obama

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama has proclaimed January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in U.S.A.  He commented that more needs to be done in the US and across the globe to uphold values of dignity and freedom for all people.   He urges every citizen to “take action by speaking up and insisting that the clothes they wear, the food they eat, and the products they buy are made free of forced labor. Business and non-profit leaders can ensure their supply chains do not exploit individuals in bondage.”  (Photo: Read more…

World Day of Peace 2015

Posted in January 1st, 2015

WorldDayofPeaceNo Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters

As we celebrate World Day of Peace 2015 let us, inspired by the words of Pope Francis, be peacemakers working against the exploitation of our fellow human beings. Pope Francis began his message for World Day of Peace message by  offering “heartfelt wishes of peace to every man and woman, to all the world’s peoples and nations, to heads of state and government, and to religious leaders” and praying “for an end to wars, conflicts and the great suffering caused by human agency, by epidemics past and present, and by the devastation wrought by natural disasters”.  He reminds us that our relationships should be marked by justice, love and respect for the dignity and freedom of all people.  Tragically, however, there are some people in our world today who treat others as objects instead of as human persons created in God’s image.

Pope Francis invites us “to practice acts of fraternity towards those kept in a state of enslavement. Let us ask ourselves, as individuals and as communities, whether we feel challenged when, in our daily lives, we meet or deal with persons who could be victims of human trafficking, or when we are tempted to select items which may well have been produced by exploiting others.” (Photo:

Download the Pope’s message for World Day of Peace 2015 here.

Ambassador to Holy See Visits ACRATH

Posted in December 14th, 2014

Ambassador John McCarthy KCSG in Melbourne

Ambassador at ACRATHAmbassador John McCarthy KCSG, Australian Embassy to the Holy See, visited ACRATH at Albert Park, Melbourne on Friday 12 December 2014.   ACRATH members had the opportunity to share with him the organisation’s objectives and current activities.  The Ambassador responded by sharing with the group the ‘Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery’ (Tuesday 2 December 2014), and a booklet on the ‘Global Freedom Network’.

This was a very positive meeting, affirming the strong leadership of Pope Francis and the work of ACRATH to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking.   At the meeting, one of the ACRATH members raised the global challenge of addressing the demand side of trafficking, the demand for cheap goods and the commodification of people.  After the meeting, ACRATH members discussed the challenge to our country to ensure slavery-proofing supply chains.   Members also discussed preparation of materials for the Australian Catholic Church’s celebration of the feast of St Josephine Bakhita on 8 February 2015. (Photo: Ambassador John McCarthy (3rd from left) with Members of ACRATH, Albert Park, Melbourne)

No Longer Slaves, But Brothers and Sisters

Posted in December 11th, 2014

pope francisPope Francis’ Message for World Day of Peace

Pope Francis’ message for World Day of Peace – 1 January 2015- is entitled “No longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.”  In this message we are reminded that we are called to live in relationships that are inspired by by justice and love so that the dignity, freedom and autonomy of all people is acknowledged and respected.  The Pope comments “Tragically, the growing scourge of man’s exploitation by man gravely damages the life of communion and our calling to forge interpersonal relations marked by respect, justice and love. This abominable phenomenon, which leads to contempt for the fundamental rights of others and to the suppression of their freedom and dignity, takes many forms. I would like briefly to consider these, so that, in the light of God’s word, we can consider all men and women ‘no longer slaves, but brothers and sisters.'”

The statement concludes with the following challenge: “We know that God will ask each of us: What did you do for your brother? (cf. Gen 4:9-10). The globalization of indifference, which today burdens the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters, requires all of us to forge a new worldwide solidarity and fraternity capable of giving them new hope and helping them to advance with courage amid the problems of our time and the new horizons which they disclose and which God places in our hands.” Download the Pope’s message here.



Philippine Bishops Call for Zero Tolerance

Posted in December 10th, 2014

One Filippino Victim of Human Trafficking is One Too Many

On Monday 8th December Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Philippines Catholic Bishops’ Conference, issued a pastoral letter calling for zero tolerance of human trafficking.  He called for cooperation between Church and the government to fight the evil of human trafficking which is “well established in our cities”.   He concluded the letter saying “we pray that our nation, by which we mean everyone of its citizens, find the grace and the courage to lead in this fight against human trafficking until it is extinguished from our daily lives.  We call upon all the faithful to join hands in every possible endeavour at every level of society, from local to national to international, in the pursuit of this objective.”  Read more…


ACRATH Newsletter December 2014

Posted in December 9th, 2014

Logo 1Latest ACRATH News

The December 2014 edition of ACRATH News outlines some of the activities ACRATH members have been involved in over recent months. Included are articles about the Radio and Print Awareness Project, the Supply Chain Working Group and the recent meeting of the National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery.

ACRATH would like to wish all supporters peace and joy as we celebrate the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Download your copy of ACRATH News here.

ACRATH Members Present at Launch

ACRATH members were present when the Australian Government recently launched two important documents – the National Action Plan to combat Human Trafficking and Slavery and the Forced Marriage Community Pack. In releasing the National Action Plan Minister for Justice, Michael Keenan, said, “Now is the time for a new vision; one that maintains Australia is a place where no one is subjected to human trafficking or slavery, and the human rights of all people are valued equally.”

The Forced Marriage Community Pack, a suite of awareness raising materials developed for frontline officers, community organisations, government agencies and vulnerable groups.  Also present at the launch were the Minister for Social Service, Kevin Andrews, and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator Michaelia Cash.  As a member of the National Roundtable on Human trafficking and Slavery ACRATH has been involved in the development of these documents. Download the relative documents from the following links:
National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery
Forced Marriage Community Pack

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