Creating Slavery-free Staffrooms in Melbourne


Throughout 2019 ACRATH’s Rosie Hoban has worked with Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) and the Archdiocese of Melbourne, supporting the development of a Resource Kit to help schools and offices begin the transition to a slavery-free environment by creating a slavery-free staffroom. The kit guides the transitioning to new products, includes awareness raising resources, and an even ‘where to buy’ slavery free tea/coffee/drinking chocolate. The kit is intended to be a dynamic resource. Schools can add their logo for promotional purposes and more material will be added as new information is available.


It is conservatively estimated, that over 40 million people globally are trapped in slavery or slavery-like conditions – one in four of them a child. Some of these are trafficked into slavery and others forced to work in appalling conditions for a pittance. Much of the coffee and tea we drink, and the cocoa used in the chocolate we eat and drink, can be traced back to these children and adults working in conditions of slavery.

Slavery-free staffrooms is a simple act for schools to initiate. However, as an awareness raising and social change action, it can have a deep personal impact whilst having a whole community change.  By deciding to buy only products certified slavery-free, we can help eradicate child labour, forced labour and human trafficking and make a difference in our world.

Catholic Social Teaching calls us to give a preferential option for the poor, ensuring we care for the poorest and most vulnerable people. Those who are trafficked and/or enslaved or who are forced to work in slave-like conditions are among the poorest and most vulnerable.

Pope Francis, in his 2015 World Peace Day Message, reminds us of what Pope Benedict XVI wrote in Caritas in Veritate (n. 66): that every person should ‘realise that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act’.

So this kit allows for all staff to consider their day to day consumption of the much needed tea/coffee and hot chocolate. (CEM website).

Click here to send photos of your ‘slavery free morning tea’ to share with others.

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