Action in November
During the month of November you are invited to join ACRATH and the International Community in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign. Human trafficking is one of the greatest forms of violence against women and girls. Resources for this campaign can be found at https://acrath.org.au/take-action/16-days/.
ACRATH has continued to support 22 men from Vanuatu who were egregiously exploited while working on farms in Queensland during 2014. The men were hired by a labour contractor, under the Australian Government’s aid program’s low-skilled Seasonal Worker Program, to work on farms in Queensland. The labour contractor promised them a good wage. They were, in most cases, paid nothing and fed little, often relying on the food they picked. Their families in Vanuatu waited for the money to be sent home. Nothing was paid. It must have seemed to the men that few people cared about their plight. But a few months after their ordeal began the South Sea Islander Association rescued them. Thirteen of the 22 men received no wages for their work and others were paid $50 to $150 each. The men are still owed around $77,000. Some returned to Vanuatu in debt, having borrowed the money for fares to come to Australia and projected expenses.
ACRATH, in partnership with other organisations, is pursuing justice for the men. ACRATH is grateful to supporters who took part in the letter writing campaign to seek an ex gratia payment for the men. It’s a slow fight, but one that will continue until the men receive compensation.