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Progress in Uzbekistan

Posted in May 28th, 2017

cotton pickingILO Monitoring in the Cotton Industry in Uzbekistan

For a number of years ACRATH and other NGOs have been speaking out about child labour in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan. In a report released in February 2017 the International Labour Organization (ILO) indicated that organized child labor is now socially unacceptable in Uzbekistan and the practice has been phased out.

ILO monitored the implementation of government commitments and measures against child and forced labor in Uzbekistan and reported that “no incidences of child and forced labor were identified with regard to World Bank-supported agriculture, water, and education projects.” However, forced labor remains a risk for some categories of people, including students, staff of educational and medical facilities and government employees.  The monitoring concluded, among other things, that further steps are required to remove the risks of forced adult labor, and noted that the existence of such risks has been recognized by the Government of Uzbekistan. The Government continues to make policy improvements aimed at reducing risks of undesirable labor practices. Read more…

Human Trafficking Response Program

Posted in May 25th, 2017

Dignity HealthDignity Health – Shared Learnings Manual

A 2017 survey report from the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) found that over half of labor and sex trafficking survivors surveyed had accessed health care at least once while being trafficked. Nearly 97% indicated they had never been provided with information or resources about human trafficking while visiting the health care provider. These studies underscore the reality that medical care providers are often unprepared to identify and appropriately respond to trafficked persons.

Dignity Health, the fifth largest health system in the United States, has taken a stand to change this reality by creating the Human Trafficking Response (HTR) Program. The  Program has been developed to ensure that trafficked persons are identified in the health care setting and are assisted with victim-centered, trauma-informed care and services. The HTR Program Manual  shares HTR Program learnings with Dignity Health associates and with other health care systems seeking to implement a similar program. Download the Manual.

Q & A with ACRATH President

Posted in May 25th, 2017

global-sisters-reportGlobal Sisters Report

Global Sisters Report is an independent, non-profit source of news and information about Catholic sisters and the critical issues facing the people they serve. ACRATH President, Sr Noelene Simmons, was recently interviewed about ACRATH’s efforts to raise awareness about human trafficking, to work against this heinous crime and their advocacy on behalf of people who have been trafficked into Australia . The Q & A can be accessed here.


Speaking on Behalf of Trafficked Women

Posted in May 21st, 2017

2017 One Heart Many Voices Catholic Mission Conference

Marietta Latonio is a social worker who lives and works in Cebu, Philippines and is a long time friend of ACRATH. She attended the 2017 One Heart Many Voices Catholic Mission Conference in Sydney recently to speak on behalf of women in Cebu who have been trafficked into sexual exploitation so that the plight of these women  may be better understood.

Promising Azra

Posted in May 19th, 2017

promising-azraA Book About Forced Marriage in Australia

‘Promising Azra’, by the Australian writer, Helen Thurloe, was published in 2016.  It is a novel which centres around the life of a sixteen year old student, who because of recent academic success is given a place in a nationwide science competition.  Little does she know that as she prepares for the competition, other members of her family are planning a marriage for her.   This is a timely book, since it is set in Australia, and highlights forced marriage against a background of the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery?like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013.  The story illustrates the importance of young people, in particular, having informed understanding of the laws against forced marriage in Australia, and knowing their rights. The book, targeted at young adults,  would be an asset in all school libraries .

Best Practice to Combat Forced Marriage

Posted in May 16th, 2017

Forced Marriage WorkshopExchanging Knowledge, Building Relationships

ACRATH joined three other Australian organisations for a forced marriage fact finding mission and information exchange to Jakarta recently. A focus of the two-day event was how to reduce child and forced marriage in Indonesia and Australia. Participants also explored many of the cultural and religious practices driving forced marriage.

The April event organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Indonesia comprised a Seminar and Field Trip – Exchanging Knowledge, Building Relationships: Indonesian and Australian Perspectives on Reducing Child and Forced Marriage.

Forced Marriage Workshop2ACRATH’s forced marriage worker, Liz Payne, joined representatives from the Attorney-General’s Department -Transnational Crime Branch, Anti-Slavery Australia and Red Cross for the seminar at the Australian Ambassador’s residence.

“Indonesian Law states that the practice of child/forced marriage can no longer take place and Australia’s legislation of 2013 outlawed this practice, but it is still happening and in large numbers in Indonesia. The seminar was an opportunity for Indonesia and Australia to share best practice in prevention and to examine ways forward,” Liz said.

Christine CarolanParliamentary Inquiry Committee Listens to Evidence from NGOs

On Thursday 4th May 2017 ACRATH National Executive Officer, Christine Carolan, gave evidence at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Inquiry into Human Trafficking. The Joint Standing Committee on Law Enforcement is conducting this inquiry which is looking at:

  1. the prevalence of human trafficking in Australia, including in culturally and linguistically diverse communities;
  2. the role and effectiveness of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies in responding to human trafficking;
  3. practical measures and policies that would address human trafficking;
  4. the involvement of organised crime, including transnational organised crime, in human trafficking;
  5. the extent to which human trafficking is facilitated by:
    1. migration visas (including marriage, partner, student and work visas),
    2. technology, and
    3. false identities;
  6. the effectiveness of relevant Commonwealth legislation and policies; and
  7. other related issues.

ACRATH commends the government for holding this inquiry. ACRATH’s hope is that this Inquiry will lead to even greater collaboration between government, law enforcement and NGOs resulting in more convictions of traffickers and greater protection for those who have been trafficked or enslaved in Australia.   In addition ACRATH requests the Commonwealth Government to support NGOs with financial resources that will enable them to continue working with government and law enforcement to bring an end to this heinous crime in Australia.

View an interview that included the ACRATH National Executive Officer here.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in May 8th, 2017

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 15 No 5

Human Trafficking is a hidden crime. The May 2017 issue of Stop Trafficking! reveals how people are beginning to see what for too long has been “hidden from plain sight.” Articles in this issue tell how people in the transport, medical and hospitality industries have been instrumental in the rescue of victims of human trafficking. Do you know the tell tale signs of human trafficking? Download the latest issue of Stop Trafficking! here.

2017 Ethical Fashion Report

Posted in May 8th, 2017

2017 Ethical Fashion ReportAre Your Garments Ethical?

The fourth edition of the Ethical Fashion Report was recently released by Baptist World Aid.

It grades over 106 companies… that’s 330 brands! It includes firsthand accounts of what life is like for garment workers around the world. And, for the first time ever, the research has been expanded to include New Zealand’s favourite fashion brands!

The grades awarded by the Ethical Fashion Report are a measure of the efforts undertaken by each company to mitigate the risks of forced labour, child labour and worker exploitation in their supply chains. Higher grades are given to companies with labour rights management systems that, if implemented well, should reduce the extent of worker exploitation. Download the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report here.

Labour ExploitationAustralian Institute of Criminology Research Paper

There have been a number of alleged cases of labour exploitation involving temporary migrant workers in Australia since the late 1990s. The Australian construction industry was identified as particularly problematic, with allegations of deception in relation to work contracts, lack of compliance with employment standards, limited autonomy and threats of abuse leveled. In response to these concerns, the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart Josephite Counter- Trafficking Project and the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney commissioned the Australian Institute of Criminology to undertake research on labour exploitation in the Australian construction industry, with a particular focus on temporary migrant workers. Read the document here.

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