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Hidden in Plain Sight

Posted in December 11th, 2017

ACRATH Slide: Take ActionA Modern Slavery Act for Australia?

Throughout 2017 the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade conducted an inquiry into whether Australia should have a Modern Slavery Act similar to the one in the UK. After receiving 225 submissions, holding 10 public hearing and extensive consultation with civil society organisations and businesses the committee tabled its report, Hidden in Plain Sight, in Parliament on Thursday 7th December. Recommendations include:

  • the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia
  • the establishment of an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
  • mandatory annual supply chain reporting for entities with a total revenue of $50 million or more
  • the de-linking of access to the Support for Trafficked People Program and the Human Trafficking Visa Framework (including the Bridging F visa and Referred Stay (Permanent) visa) from compliance with criminal investigations
  • extension of the 45 day period of initial support available under the Support for Trafficked People Program to a minimum of 90 days, with multiple options for extension
  • the establishment a national compensation scheme for victims of modern slavery in Australia, modelled on existing victim compensation schemes administered by the Commonwealth
  • urgent review of Australia’s visa framework for migrants to replace or eliminate ‘tied’ visa conditions, such as employer sponsorship and sign-off requirements, that often create conditions of vulnerability to exploitation and modern slavery

ACRATH has long been engaged in advocating for many of these issues. We welcome the report and live in hope that the recommendations will be accepted by the Commonwealth Government and so be enshrined in national policy. We thank the Committee not only for their commitment to the Inquiry process but also for their determination to promote means of eliminating human trafficking and slavery in Australia and beyond. Hidden in Plain Sight can be accessed here.

Migration Without Trafficking

Posted in December 5th, 2017

Global Compacts & Human Trafficking

Fr. Michael Czerny is Undersecretary of the Migrant and Refugee Section of the Holy See. He was recently interviewed about the significance of the theme, Migration Global impacts and the proposals of the Church with regard to the Migration and Trafficking.

Stop Trafficking

Posted in December 3rd, 2017

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 15 No 11

The December issue of Stop Trafficking! highlights the vulnerability of children especially in the travel and tourism industries. Articles include Travel & Tourism…& Trafficking, Exploitation of Children by Tourists, Efforts to Prevent Human Trafficking in the Tourism Industry and Leaders Unite to Stop Global Sexual Exploitation of Children through Travel and Tourism.! here.

Download your copy of Stop Trafficking! here.

Welcome, Protect, Promote and Integrate

Posted in November 30th, 2017

Migrants & RefugeesProtect the Dignity, Human Rights and Freedom of All

The Vatican’s Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development  is a small action-oriented Vatican office personally directed by Pope Francis. This office has released a set of 20 Pastoral Action Points and 20 Action Points for the Global Compacts, providing concrete leads for implementing the four actions – to welcome, to protect, to promote, to integrate – in the attitudes and actions of Christian communities and of all those concerned with those who are forced to flee, and in international and national policies.

While massive numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, natural disasters and the scourge of poverty, migration should nevertheless be recognized, not as a new phenomenon, but rather as a natural human response to crisis and a testament to the innate desire of every human being for happiness and a better life. This reality, with its important cultural and spiritual dimensions, is having a significant impact on attitudes and reactions all over the world.

Even amidst the current crisis, experience teaches that effective, shared responses are available. The Church looks forward to working together with the international community to promote and adopt such measures to protect the dignity, rights and freedoms of all persons currently on the move, including forced migrants, victims of human trafficking, asylum seekers, refugees and internally displaced persons.

For more information visit the Migrants & Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development’s website

Confront the Roots of Slavery

Posted in November 29th, 2017

Holy See Intervention During Security Council Open DebateArchbishop Auza

On November 21 H. E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave an intervention during Security Council Open Debate on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations.” He called on the international community to work towards the eradication of slavery by confronting all of its economic, environmental, political and ethical root causes, emphasizing the importance of preventing and ending the wars and conflicts that create conditions for traffickers to exploit victims. He stated that “as long as wars and conflicts rage, trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, forced labor and similar crimes will continue to flourish.”

He concluded his statement with words of Pope Francis expressed this year on the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons when he warned us against “getting used” to trafficking in persons, treating it as if it were a “normal thing,” when in reality it is, he said, “ugly, cruel, criminal, an aberrant plague, a modern form of slavery, a crime against humanity”.

Download the full statement here.

Temporary Migrant Workers in Australia

Posted in November 29th, 2017

Wage Theft in AustraliaSurvey Exposes Exploitation

Research conducted by the University of NSW and The University of Technology Sydney found that 30 per cent of temporary migrant workers in Australia earn $12 an hour or less, while fruit and vegetable pickers, petrol station attendants, car washers and child-care workers routinely suffered wage theft.

The National Temporary Migrant Work Survey is the most comprehensive study of wage theft and working conditions among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants in Australia. The survey draws on responses from 4,322 temporary migrants across 107 nationalities of every region in the world, working in a range of jobs in all states and territories. Its unprecedented scope indicates the breadth, depth and complexity of non-compliance with Australian labour law. Download a copy of the report here.

We Are Part of the Problem

Posted in November 29th, 2017

 Ethical Symbols2Buying Good and Services is a Moral Choice

In an article recently written by ACRATH member Sr Margaret Ng, we are reminded that because of our consumer habits we are part of the problem when it comes to the existence of slavery in our world today. We are constantly demanding cheaper goods and service. She challenges us to be mindful of the supply chain of good when we are purchasing products and make ethical choices. For example we can look for chocolate, tea and coffee carrying the Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ logos. Download her article here.


Leave No One Behind

Posted in November 25th, 2017

16 Days UN logo 2018End Violence Against Women

The International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women is celebrated each year on 25th November. The theme of this day for 2017 is Leave No One Behind: End Violence Against Women and Children. In a recent report on progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, stated:

“Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms.”

Let us be advocates for change and speak out to end violence against women and children. ACRATH suggestions can be found hereRead more…

Uzbekistan Cotton Update

Posted in November 23rd, 2017

trisha-downing-337371Decline in the Use of Forced Labour

Over a number of years ACRATH has joined with other organisation in campaigning against the use of child and forced labour in the Uzbekistan Cotton Industry. It seems our efforts are bearing fruit. Human Rights Watch has reported:

“President Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed forced labor in his speech to the UN General Assembly on September 19. It was the first time an Uzbek president has acknowledged the issue on the international stage, after a decade of campaigning by the Cotton Campaign and allies and international pressure from governments and other stakeholders. Forced labor was raised again in a meeting with the World Bank president, Jim Yong Kim, on September 20.

On September 21, 2017, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov ordered officials to recall students and education and medical workers, who had been picking cotton under threat of penalty since the harvest began on September 10, despite an August degree banning recruiting these workers. Students began to leave various regions for home later on September 21.”

Such developments give us hope that child slavery and forced labour will be eliminated from the Uzbek cotton industry. Read more…

Women Judges and Prosecutors Meet in the Vatican

Posted in November 21st, 2017

Vatican Summit Shares Best Practices

Women judges and prosecutors from all around the world recently met for two days in the Vatican to discuss the dangers of organized crime and combat the modern slavery of the 21st century, human trafficking. The Summit was organised by the Pontifical Academy of Science. Participants valued the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. Read more…

C 2011 ACRATH Inc – Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans