Groundbreaking Anti-Slavery Project

slavery 1A First for Australia’s Health Care Sector

Australia’s leading anti-human trafficking group and a major health and aged care provider have joined forces in a groundbreaking effort to change the way hospitals treat trafficked people and how to ‘slavery proof’ the goods and services they use.

ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) have launched the Human Trafficking Project, thought to be a first in Australia’s health care sector.

The project will look at how trafficked people – who may present at any of SVHA’s hospitals Australia-wide – can be identified and receive necessary treatment, support, referrals and access to services. This includes women who have been sexually exploited, people facing forced marriage and people who have experienced forced labour.

The project will also look at how to make sure the goods and services procured by St Vincent’s are slavery-free. This means investigating supply chains to make sure a diverse range of goods – everything from medical equipment through to cotton sheets and gowns, and chocolates sold for hospital fundraising – have been produced without the use of enslaved or forced labour.

According to the Trafficking in Persons – Australian Government Response 2015-2016 report, the Australian Federal Police received 691 referrals relating to human trafficking and slavery-related offences between 2004 and 30 June 2016. Read more…

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