Global leaders joined the 16 Days Campaign.

meeting with Pope Francis

ACRATH’s 16 Days of Activism, focusing on women migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation, ended on December 10 2023, but the messages conveyed, the information shared, resources developed and the impact of the campaign are still being felt. We encourage you to find out more and become part of the ongoing story. Teaching resources from ACRATH’s 16 Days campaign are now available.

Chiara Porro, Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See, joined ACRATH’s NEO Christine Carolan in asking people across the globe to focus on the plight of women migrating across the world for work. They were joined in the campaign by Pope Francis, global leaders, NGOs and Ambassadors, who each shone a light on a different aspect of exploitation they were working to combat.

“These are women who live among us, whose work our society and economy depend on, but whose dignity and rights can be grossly violated and denied,” Ambassador Porro said.

The injustices highlighted by the many ACRATH campaign collaborators did not end when the campaign concluded. ACRATH encourages people, organisations, community groups and schools to consider using the resources produced during the campaign. Already, an Australian tertiary institute with an overseas campus has expressed interest in using the material in its curriculum. “To advocate for women migrating across the world for work, we need to be informed about the many issues they face, and the complexities involved in combating these issues. Using the material produced during the campaign is a first step in understanding what so many women confront when they are migrating from their home country in search of work and security,” Christine said.

Fiona Kendall who works with Mediterranean Hope, a project created by the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy to support refugees, suggested people needed to know about the situation around the globe to advocate for change effectively. She talked about the vulnerabilities many migrating women face when leaving northern Africa for Italy, and the dangers of being sent back to the source country. The Mediterranean Hope project began in the Italian island of Lampedusa, which is a first destination point for many fleeing Africa by boat. In just two days in September 2023, 120 small boats arrived on Lampedusa carrying 7000 people. Fiona said the 16 Days campaign was an opportunity to create awareness with people and mobilise support that could be used in advocacy and other responses to the crisis.
global situation

The ACRATH 16 Days of Activism campaign caught the attention of women Ambassadors to the Holy See and led to Ambassador Porro joining forces with the Dutch and French Ambassadors to present ACRATH’s 16 Days of Activism Campaign material at an event in the French Embassy to the Holy See (picture below). A highlight for ACRATH was Christine joining 17 Ambassadors to the Holy See in a campaign event with Pope Francis. Christine and Ambassador Porro agreed that the social justice challenge is global; vulnerable workers are on the move right across the planet. So global solutions must be sought, and global justice-focused alliances must be built and strengthened.

The Global Estimates of the Modern Slavery report published in 2021 said that an estimated 50 million people were living in situations of modern slavery on any given day in 2021. The most vulnerable — women, children, and migrants — remain disproportionately affected. More than 12 million of all people i n modern slavery are children, and women and girls account for over half of them (54 per cent).The report found that, “while labour migration has a largely positive effect on individuals, households, communities and societies, this finding demonstrates how migrants are particularly vulnerable to forced labour and trafficking, whether because of irregular or poorly governed migration, or unfair and unethical recruitment practices”. 

Many important resources were produced during the 16 Days campaign, including contributions from global speakers, interviews with individuals who have experienced these challenges, material linking global warming to migrant workers being on the move, informative articles, and more. Visit
Watch our highlight reel here:

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