Advocacy with New Government

Advocacy with New Government

ACRATH staff and volunteers are preparing for the virtual advocacy campaign with Federal Politicians and their staff to raise four key issues around human trafficking with new ministers and key advisers. ACRATH’s campaign leader Cindy Bohan said after an election there are many business matters new personnel have to address, rearrange and continue on with, and she wants ACRATH’s modern slavery campaign/concerns on their agenda.

“We are keen to connect with newly appointed Ministers and Shadow Ministers, departmental officers and civil society colleagues, to share our issues and seek assistance to get modern slavery on the agenda again post election. We already have commitments from several key people who want to meet us,” Cindy said.

The ACRATH campaign team hopes to meet with many new ministers, including Clare O’Neil, Home Affairs Minister, Katy Gallagher, Minister for Women and Pat Conroy, Minister for International Development and the Pacific. The ACRATH team will raise the following four issues:

A National Compensation Scheme for Victim/ Survivors of Modern Slavery
ACRATH is joining with Anti-Slavery Australia to call for this scheme to be implemented in 2022 without further delay.

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s Inquiry into human trafficking issued a report in December 2017. The report, Hidden in Plain Sight (see pp164-171), recommended, as part of Australia’s victim-centred response to combatting modern slavery, that the Australian Government should provide compensation to victims.

A National Labour Hire Licensing Scheme
ACRATH wants to ensure that there is Federal Government oversight of labour hire companies who recruit overseas seasonal workers to work in Australia. A similar recommendation was proposed in the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce Report in 2019. The Government carefully considered each of the Taskforce’s 22 recommendations and accepted in principle all the recommendations.

Ratify ILO Convention No.189 – Domestic Workers Convention (2011) ACRATH wants to ensure the right of domestic workers to safety and just remuneration; ACRATH is concerned that many domestic workers brought from overseas are exploited, some to the point of forced labour and modern slavery. Ratifying the ILO Convention is the first recommendation from Heather Moore’s research Service or Servitude: A Study of Trafficking for Domestic Work in Australia

Increase Australia’s Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of the Gross National Income (GNI), meeting Australia’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals 2015 – 2030
ACRATH wants a significant increase in the amount of aid from the current 0.22% of GNI to 0.7%.  Our second ask is to significantly improve the targeting of our aid. ACRATH knows that aid can alleviate poverty, a driver of human trafficking/modern slavery. It is important to note that COVID and the climate crisis have increased the vulnerability of people to being trafficked.

“This is a very exciting time for our organisation as we look to build new relationships and reconnect with familiar faces who we hope will commit to working with us to end human trafficking,” Cindy said.

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