ACRATH in Federal Parliament
On Sunday 6th September eleven ACRATH members gathered in Canberra to prepare for their week of advocacy in Parliament House. The two key advocacy issues for this visit relate to forced marriage and forced labour. After two days of advocacy we can say we have had some remarkable uptake of our key issues and some good advice about how we can move forward on some of our concerns. We have had positive engagements right up to Ministerial level on our proposal to have a flexible entry to Services for Trafficked People, enabling groups other than the Australian Federal Police to refer trafficked people into the Services. This could make such a big difference to the lives of trafficked people.
Mayet Latonio, our long-time counter trafficking colleague from Cebu in the Philippines, has presented newly launched research to the three Senators representing the Liberals, Greens and Labor on the rights of women so that we could encourage a cross party awareness of the voices of the young women trafficked into sex work in Cebu.
In many of our appointments the work of ACRATH has been affirmed. When acknowledging their generosity in giving us time in a busy schedule, two senior MPs commented they were happy to give us the time as we are doing good work.