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Against Trafficking in Children and Adolescents

Posted in November 17th, 2016

Kids They Are! Not Slaves!

The theme for the next World Day of Prayer Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking has been launched by Sr Gabriella Bottani, co-ordinator of Talitha Kum (the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Human Trafficking). The 2017 theme is Against Trafficking in Children and Adolescents while the slogan for this theme is Kids They Are! Not Slaves! You are invited to join with the international community on 8th February, the feast of St Josephine Bakhita. St Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once freed she dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery, and comforting the poor and suffering.

Learning About Human Trafficking

Posted in November 17th, 2016

seminar-presenters Training Day for Teachers

On Friday 28th Oct, the Education group conducted the fourth of its major Education Training days for senior secondary teachers. Once again Melbourne Catholic Education supported ACRATH by providing the venue and catering for the participants, in addition to granting Professional Development Accreditation  to participants.

We were delighted to have three excellent speakers: – Dr Stephen Fisher ACU speaking about Demand in Sex Trafficking and Prostitution; Professor Jennifer Burn on Risk Factors for young women, in particular those vulnerable to Forced Marriage.  Jen also spoke about the problems involved in recruitment in Supply Chains and Liz Payne on the Forced Marriage Project which has already been trialled successfully in three States.

Some responses to the Evaluation Question   “What did you find the most valuable today?” indicate that the program was well received.

The variety of speakers and perspectives was much appreciated as well as their variety of approaches and interpretations. Thank you for your work!

“My eyes have been opened to how vulnerable women are particularly many from ethnic groups.”

Human Rights: “Empower the students – knowledge is power!”

teacher-in-service-day“Have taken notes and will adapt these to the curriculum.”

“The perspective on male violence and root causes/attitudes.”

“The whole day was worth a great deal. Great presenters and material”

“As an Economics Teacher I will incorporate a more in depth look at the Supply Chain and how Government decision on free trade can have a significant influence on the use of these slave labour forces.”

We were indeed pleased with these positive remarks and the eager participation in all aspects of the day by those in attendance. Of course we hope that the learnings of the teachers will enhance their work in their respective schools.

Human Trafficking and Slavery

Posted in November 15th, 2016

social-justice-paper_0001ACSJC and ACRATH announce a new paper on human trafficking

The Australian Catholic Social Justice Council and ACRATH are delighted to announce the publication of a new paper on human trafficking and slavery.

‘Human trafficking and similar forms of exploitation affect every country on earth. They flourish because of society’s greed for cheap goods and services and because it is so easy to forget that those who meet these needs are human beings with their own innate God-given dignity.’

Those are the words of Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, in his foreword to Human Trafficking and Slavery: A response from Australian Catholics. The paper, the latest in the ACSJC’s Catholic Social Justice Series, is written by Christine Carolan, Executive Officer of Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH), and Sister Noelene Simmons SM, ACRATH’s Regional Co-ordinator for NSW.

acsjc-paper-authorsThe paper looks at slavery and related crimes in the modern world, at the Church’s teaching, and at the international and Australian laws that deal with this abuse. The paper then discusses ACRATH’s work advocating on behalf of victims of human trafficking, educating Australians, and working alongside organisations here and overseas to shut down human trafficking.

Click here for further information including how to obtain copies of this document. A discussion/reflection guide developed to accompany this paper can be accessed here.

ACRATH Members Learn of United Nations Mechanisms

Posted in November 10th, 2016

resized_20161108_154129Franciscans International Training Day

Mr Budi Tjahjono, Asia Pacific Coordinator for Franciscans International (FI), facilitated a training day in which participants learnt about the United Nations Mechanisms on Human Rights, including the Human Rights Council, the Universal Periodic Review and the Human Rights Treaty Bodies. Seven NSW ACRATH members were in attendance.

Following on from Budi’s excellent presentation participants were able to discuss how the mechanisms can be used to bring about change within our own country. The interchange that took place resulted in renewed enthusiasm for advocating on issues such as refugees and asylum seekers, climate change and human trafficking. Thank you to Franciscans International and Franciscan Friars Australia for making this day possible and to Budi for sharing your expertise with such clarity and passion.

A photo by Cayton Heath. of ACRATH Supported

Mr Graham Perrett MP, ALP Member for the Federal electorate of Moreton put forth a motion in the House of Representatives on Monday 7th November calling on the Federal Government to “immediately renew funding to further provide awareness of child marriage and forced marriage in Australian schools and the broader community.” In speaking to the motion Mr Perrett affirmed the work ACRATH has done in developing a pilot programme for school. He indicated this work of awareness raising and community education is crucial as a means of preventing forced marriages from taking place. It was pleasing to see the bipartisan support for this motion. The motion was seconded by Mr George Christensen of the National Party while Lisa Chesters of the ALP and Tim Wilson and Craig Kelly of the Liberal Party also spoke to the motion.

Click here to view video of Mr Perrett speaking to the motion.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in November 5th, 2016

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 14 No 11

The November 2016 issue of Stop Trafficking! highlights forced labour abuses and technological methods being employed to expose and correct these. The work being done in Australia by Baptist World Aid to investigate suppy chains in the fashion and electronic industries is outlined. Read more…

Does this Give you Any Ideas?

Five hundred nuns from the Buddhist sect known as the Drukpa Order recently completed a 4,000-km (2,485 mile) bicycle trek from Nepal’s Kathmandu to the northern city of Leh in India to raise awareness about human trafficking in the remote region. They rode through treacherous terrain and hostile weather and camped out in the open.  Aware that following on from the earthquake in Nepal in 2015 families were selling their girls because they couldn’t afford to keep them they “wanted to do something to change this attitude that girls are less than boys and that it’s okay to sell them” one of the nuns reported. Read more…

Does this inspire you? What creative ideas can you come up with to raise awareness about the plight of women, men and children being trafficked in our world.

Young Girls at Risk of Forced Marriage

Posted in November 1st, 2016

Forced marriageForced Marriage is a Criminal Offence in Australia

Despite legislation being introduced to criminalise forced marriage in Australia in 2013 the practice is continuing. Young girls are being taken out of Australia to marry men who are often much older. This is a form of child trafficking. Here in Australia they are also being taken out of school to marry much older men. A recent report from the Save the Children charity indicates that a girl under the age of 15 is forced into marriage every seven seconds around the world. Professor Jennifer Burn, Director of Anti-Slavery Australia, comments on the importance of preventing forced marriage. For this to happen there is a need for greater community awareness. Read more…

Human Trafficking Survivors Report

Posted in October 31st, 2016

us-report-on-ht-2016Ways to Help Eliminate Human Trafficking

For the first time ever the US Government has released a report on human trafficking written by survivors. The survivors are all members of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. They have outlined recommendations on how to improve federal trafficking policies ranging from legislation to public awareness campaigns to victims’ services.

The five areas of recommendation are rule of law, public awareness, victim services, labour laws and grant making. Read more…

Does Your Car Have Glittery Mica Paint

Posted in October 30th, 2016

silver-carPerhaps the Mica was Mined by Children

The Guardian has recently brought to light the fact that children in India are working in situations of child labour and debt bondage to mine the mica. The mica is being used in paint for automobiles. Child rights campaigners estimate that up to 20,000 children work in hundreds of small-scale mines in northern Jharkhand and southern Bihar.

This has led some of the world’s biggest car makers including Vauxhall, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi launching investigations into their paint supply chains. The Guardian documented children aged 12 mining mica underground in hazardous, leaking mineshafts, hammering glittering rock flakes from walls and carrying heavy loads through slippery tunnels while above ground, girls as young as 10 were sorting mica from other mined material. These children are not able to go to school and are forced to work in conditions that are dangerous for their health. Read more…

C 2011 ACRATH Inc – Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans