Mercy Sister Goes Online to Fight Human Trafficking

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Mercy sister Lorraine Phelan is running a zoom seminar on human trafficking which she hopes will inspire participants to get involved in a local or global action. Lorraine, who is ACRATH’s Regional Coordinator for the ACT and NSW has invited Mercy sisters and those connected to Mercy in some capacity, to participate in the webinar, but wants anyone interested to join the online seminar on Thursday 21 May at noon until 1.30pm. A highlight of the webinar will be the participation of Angela Reed rsm, Coordinator Mercy Global Action UN, who is currently in Australia.

Lorraine said she hoped the online webinar, co-hosted by ACRATH’s EO Christine Carolan, would give participants an understanding of modern-day slavery globally, and in Australia. According to the latest 2016 Global Slavery Index, it is estimated that 45.8 million people are in some form of Modern Slavery in 167 countries. Australia is one of those countries and is a destination port. Mercy Sisters have had a major role in ACRATH since it began almost 15 years ago. Many Mercy Sisters work with ACRATH as volunteer leaders, companions to trafficked women, fundraisers and advocates. Many Sisters and partners also pray for trafficked children, women and men.

“In this webinar I want to create educational awareness for participants and offer suggestions as to what they can do to try and change this terrible injustice. There are many options people can pursue,” Lorraine said.

The topic of the seminar is, Human trafficking: what are the facts and what would Catherine (McAuley) be saying to us today. Lorraine likened the anti-trafficking work of ACRATH to that of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. “Catherine kept chipping away at injustice to make life better for the women she encountered and no matter what happened she kept going and that’s our impetus.”

“Working to prevent human trafficking is about working with and for those who are most marginalised and supporting them in their endeavour to have a life of dignity,” Lorraine said. “I think that’s what Catherine would do and why she would want us to be involved in this work and keep going. This pandemic will cause greater suffering to vulnerable people around the world and make many, many people even more at risk of being trafficked.”

The seminar will include:

  • Introduction to forms of Modern Slavery in todays world
  • A global perspective by Angela Reed with a focus on work by Mercy Global Action.
  • An outline of current anti-trafficking work by ACRATH’s EO Christine Carolan
  • Introduction to Talitha Kum, an International organisation working to eradicate Human Trafficking, will also be discussed.

Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of Christine and Angela who will also suggest actions participants can take. To join Lorraine, Christine and Angela for the seminar on May 21 at noon, please register here.

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