ACRATH joins Pope Francis in tops for 2023

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ACRATH joined illustrious company when it was declared a person/organisation of the year (2023) by Jesuit Publications’ Eureka Street magazine. Laura Kings, Assistant editor of Australian Catholics, chose ACRATH and Linda Burney, Minister for Indigenous Australians and Member for Barton. 

Other senior Jesuit Publication staff and writers, including Fr Andy Hamilton sj and Eureka Street editor David Halliday, chose people including Pope Francis and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus. The panel said the final selection of people and organisations in 2023 “spans the gamut from political and legal heavyweights to quiet innovators and social justice revolutionaries; people who somehow left a mark on our collective consciousness, pointing us towards a more hopeful future … As we turn the page on 2023, we doff our caps to these groups/individuals”. 

Eureka Street is a publication of the Australian Jesuits. A print magazine for 16 years, starting in March 1991, Eureka Street is now an online journal of analysis, commentary and reflection on current issues in the worlds of politics, religion and culture.  As a publication of the Australian Jesuits, Eureka Street is informed by the values of Jesuit spirituality and particularly the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. 

In choosing ACRATH Laura said: “Slavery is not someone else’s problem, it’s our reality. Modern slavery includes human trafficking, forced labour, forced marriage, and more. Every time we eat or purchase, it’s likely modern slavery exists in that supply chain.  Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) have been working for close to two decades to eliminate human trafficking, address modern slavery and the resultant harm. Those in office are listening. This year there was a review of the Modern Slavery Act (2019) that seeks to strengthen it, and as much as that might scare any whose business model relies on exploitation and enslavement, it is a very good thing for an Australian society that embraces human rights. Many ACRATH members live a Catholic religious life but are upending stereotypes as they work for the betterment of others with dignity and acumen. Whether they are walking Canberra’s halls, creating school resources, or accompanying and advocating for victims, ACRATH does worthy and important work. “

Editor David Halliday, who has championed ACRATH’s work for many years, also shone a spotlight on human trafficking in his selection of Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

In selecting Mark Dreyfus, David said: “Combating modern slavery has also been a central focus for Dreyfus this year. Modern slavery encompasses a range of serious exploitative practices, such as trafficking in persons, deceptive recruiting, debt bondage, forced labour and forced marriage. He recognized the urgency of the issue and intensified efforts at establishing modern slavery safeguarding. The Modern Slavery Act, his brainchild, stands as a testament to his belief that profit shouldn’t be built on the backs of the voiceless. Dreyfus has been instrumental in steering significant legal reforms like establishing Australia’s first federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner in 2023 with the aim of supporting victims and survivors and supporting business to address modern slavery practices hidden in supply chains.”

To see who else lined up alongside ACRATH and Pope Francis click here.

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