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Human Trafficking and Slavery


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Read the latest News in the fight against human trafficking

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New Zealand Bans Forced Marriages

Posted in September 21st, 2016

New Domestic Violence Legislation

On 13th September 2013 the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, announced changes to the Domestic Violence Act. Among the fifty changes was the banning of  coercive or forced marriages. The legislative changes have been welcome by a number of anti-domestic violence charities including Shine, Women’s Refuge New Zealand and Shakti New Zealand. Read more…

2016 Advocacy Visit to Federal Parliament

Posted in September 18th, 2016

img_2159Speaking on Behalf of People Who Have Been Trafficked

During the week beginning Monday 12th September, twelve members of ACRATH met with members of Federal Parliament to advocate on behalf of those who have been trafficked into Australia. ACRATH asked for measures to be put in place to protect the human rights of overseas workers brought to Australia via labour hire firms. Such workers can sometimes be forced to work long hours for little pay while living in substandard conditions with restricted freedom of movement. ACRATH would like to see the systems that enable this to happen interrupted. ACRATH also noted that human trafficking is a federal crime and so it is important that there be a national compensation scheme. ACRATH asked that there be ongoing funding for ACRATH and other NGOs working to raise awareness of human trafficking and to protect those who have been trafficked. During the four days of advocacy ACRATH members were involved in over fifty interviews and were heartened by the interest and support received from members of Parliament.

Stop Trafficking!

Posted in September 18th, 2016

Stop TraffickingAnti-Human Trafficking Newsletter Vol 14 No 9

The latest issue of Stop Trafficking highlights the complex issues that result from allowing a society to profit from the sexual exploitation of women.  Article in the newsletter include Germany: Time for Change, Challenging Businesses: Get out of Sex Exploitation and Good Business Practices: Thank the Wine Industry. Download your copy of the September issue here.

Advocating in Federal Parliament

Posted in September 6th, 2016

ACRATH Canberra Advocacy Team 2014Being a Voice for People Who Have Been Trafficked

ACRATH’s annual visit to Federal Parliament will take place during September. ACRATH members will gather in Canberra on 11th for briefing sessions before descending on the halls of Parliament on Monday 12th September. During our visit we will acknowledge the bipartisan support that exists for this issue and provide members of Parliament with a snapshot of ACRATH’s activities during the past twelve months. ACRATH has three main advocacy points for the 2016 visit to Parliament: ongoing funding for NGOs working against human trafficking, the needs of overseas workers facing forced and exploited labour in Australia and the need to establish a national compensation scheme for people who have been trafficked into Australia. Members of Parliament will be provided with a sheet outlining our advocacy points. Download a coy of the handout here.

My Rights – My Future: forced marraige

Posted in September 6th, 2016

FM KitNew Learning & Teaching Resource

A new learning and teaching resource relating to forced marriage has been made available on the mybluesky website:

My Rights – My Future forced marriage

A Kit of Learning and Teaching Materials and support documents for Australian Secondary Schools: Issued April 2016

Together with nine pilot schools, and numerous government and non-government organisations, ACRATH  (Australian Catholic Religious against Trafficking in Humans) participated in an Australian forced marriage Pilot Project in 2015. This Pilot Project was funded through the Australian Attorney-General’s Department. The resource Kit, My Rights – My Future forced marriage, is one result of the Pilot Project.

Australian secondary school teachers and staff are invited to use this Kit of materials, however, the following recommendations need to be carefully considered prior to so doing:

  • Training is required prior to using the learning and teaching resources of the Kit. ASA (Anti-Slavery Australia) offers an eLearning tool on their ASA website in relation to forced marriage. This is free and the training takes approximately 20-30 minutes
  • It is critical that the culture of the students be respected at all times
  • Teachers considering using the Kit are strongly advised to speak with school leadership and the school’s Student Welfare staff prior to commencement
  • Teachers and school staff need to be familiar with Appendix One of this Kit – Protocols and Procedures, in terms of student safety and welfare. The school’s own policies and procedures, along with the education sector authority’s policies, also need to be considered
  • For further information and reproducible materials in a number of languages visit marriage
Disclaimer: Please note that this Kit, and all content documents, is a resource giving you basic information about the topic of forced marriage as it applies to awareness-raising and education in an Australian secondary school setting. It does not cover the whole of the relevant law regarding this topic, and it is not a substitute for professional advice. You should also note that, because the Kit, and its content documents, avoids legal language wherever possible, it might include some generalisations about the application of the law. Some provisions of the law referred to have exceptions, or important qualifications. In most cases, your particular circumstances must be taken into account when determining how the law applies to you.

Eradicating & Preventing Debt Bondage

Posted in September 4th, 2016

02-26-2015Urmila_BhoolaReport of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

In her report to the thirty third session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slaver, Urmila Bhoola, spoke about debt bondage as a key form of slavery in our contemporary world. As well as defining debt bondage she outlines trends in prevalence within different regions as well as discussing the causes of debt bondage and the challenges in trying to eradicate this practice. Her report concludes with an outline of various recommendations for an integrated, human rights-based approach for the prevention and eradication of debt bondage. Download her report here. (Photo: United Nations News Centre)

Students Respond to ACRATH Spirit

Posted in September 2nd, 2016

Avila Students 003Desire to Promote a More Just Society

ACRATH member, Sr Joan Kennedy PBVM, gave a presentation on ACRATH’s advocacy work to a group of Year 11 & 12 students at Avila College in Mt Waverley, Victoria. The young women pictured were mid way through the ACRATH produced lessons, as part of their studies in the subject ‘Society and Religion’. Holding up ACRATH calenders and brochures, while voicing with enthusiasm the word ‘ACRATH’ was their way of expressing their desire to create a more just society, in the ACRATH spirit.

We Cannot be Indifferent

Posted in August 31st, 2016

How many people are victimsFrom MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS

‘No one can claim to be indifferent in the face of new forms of slavery imposed by criminal organizations which buy and sell men, women and children as forced labourers in construction, agriculture, fishing or in other markets. How many minors are still forced to fight in militias as child soldiers! How many people are victims of organ trafficking, forced begging and sexual exploitation! Today’s refugees are fleeing from these aberrant crimes, and they appeal to the Church and the human community to ensure that, in the outstretched hand of those who receive them, they can see the face of the Lord, “the Father of mercies and God of all consolation” (2 Cor 1:3)’.

Supporting Women Who Have Been Trafficked

Posted in August 19th, 2016

Pope Francis Visits Shelter for Women

In keeping with his strong stance against human trafficking Pope Francis recently visited the Pope John XXIII community. This community houses approximately 20 women who have been rescued from sexual slavery. The women come from countries such as Romania, Albania, Nigeria, Tunisia and Ukraine. The women are given protection as they recover from the severe physical abuse they have endured. On numerous occasions Pope Francis has spoken against the evil  of human trafficking. He urges us to do all in our power to eradicate human trafficking and slavery so that the dignity and human rights of all people are respected. Read more…

Ending Slavery Is Everyone’s Work

Posted in August 15th, 2016

USCSAHT-LogoUS Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking

In their summer newsletter the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking (USCSAHT) outline the activities they have recently been engaged in. Activities included a ten week campaign to build support among Senate women for S. 1968 the Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act. USCSAHT members sent hundreds of e-mails and made numerous phone calls to Senate offices, urging the women in the Senate to make good on their intention to give priority to legislation addressing human trafficking during the 114th Congress. Attention was focused on S. 1968 because it would require companies to provide consumers with information about their efforts to ensure that its products are free of child labor, forced labor, slavery, and human trafficking.  Human trafficking awareness campaigns were also held during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions during the month of July. The newsletter also provides readers with a number of website links. Download a copy of the newsletter here.

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