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Sr Mary Mercer rsj

Posted in October 4th, 2016

mercer-maryWoman of Faith & Graciousness, True Follower of St Mary Mackillop

St Ignatius Church in Norwood, Adelaide, was filled to capacity with people of all ages for the requiem Mass for Sr Mary Mercer on Tuesday 4 th October. Members of ACRATH SA were among this gathering of people whose lives Mary had touched and who were deeply saddened by her passing. Mary had been a member of ACRATH SA since 2011 and was Regional Coordinator during 2014-2015.

Mary had been a leader in Catholic Education in South Australia and later in life was committed to the ministry of  hospital chaplaincy. Deeply appreciated attributes of this beautiful woman, faith, graciousness- even under adversity, humility, integrity, loyalty and generosity were acknowledged in the eulogy.

Archbishop Wilson speaking at the conclusion of the Mass said that Mary was an exemplar of the Josephite charism, a true follower of St Mary MacKillop and that in losing her something precious had been lost. ACRATH sends condolences to the Sisters of St Joseph and to Mary’s family.


Posted in September 29th, 2016

acrath-calendar-20172017 ACRATH Calendars

The ACRATH calendar, first published in 2015 created awareness of human trafficking globally and here in Australia.

We hope this 2017 edition continues to:

  • Promote awareness of human trafficking issues
  • Promote ACRATH and its work
  • Showcase some of the anti-trafficking work being done by a range of organisations, worldwide and within Australia
  • Fundraise for ACRATH’s work
  • Provide some income for a project in South East Asia supporting victims of human trafficking.

The Cost of the Calendar is $10 (GST Free). If your Calendar Order requires a postal delivery please include cost of postage in your payment.

Click here to obtain an Order Form. Order forms can be emailed to

Business Engagement at the United Nations

Posted in September 28th, 2016

sds-reviewHigh-Level Political Forum on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Held at the United Nations in July 2015, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)  serves as a platform to review country, major groups and other stakeholders’ progress on attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). During this Forum there was a High-Level Side-Event on Partnerships to End Forced Labour in Global Supply Chains. The key question addressed by panelists was: “how to ensure that supply chains can be a positive force for quality job creation as well as sustainable and inclusive social and economic development?” The event also explored “the challenges in supply chains, the responses of the private sector and beyond; the salient challenges in governance; and what guidance programs and initiatives are needed to achieve this goal.” The Side-Event also proposed the  establishment of a Dignity Partnership of governments and civil society groups to implement SDG Target 8.7 in relation to supply chains. Read more…

Judges Summit on Human Trafficking

Posted in September 26th, 2016


Opening New Paths of Justice

In June 2016 a summit was held in the Vatican. Over a hundred judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and representatives of legal organizations from some 20 different countries gathered to share best practice from their experiences of working to fight trafficking, slave labour and the trade in human organs. The event was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Social Science. During the summit Pope Francis called on judges to “work together in breaking down barriers and opening new paths of justice for the promotion of human dignity, freedom, responsibility, happiness and, ultimately, peace.”  The proceedings of this summit, including an address by Pope Francis, are now available online in print and video format.

ACRATH Advocacy Report

Posted in September 23rd, 2016

canberra-news-20162016 Visit to Federal Parliament

The latest issue of ACRATH News provides a report on ACRATH’s recent visit to Federal Parliament. Over a four day period ACRATH met with 51 Members of Parliament, including 4 meetings with Ministers and Ministerial advisors. The MPs were from the Government, the Opposition and the Crossbench; they were from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

We also had meetings with staff at four Embassies for whom human trafficking is of particular concern. The team also met with staff from 8 other key parties: the Australian Federal Police, Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (both Communications and Research), the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Salvation Army Freedom Partnership and Anti-Slavery Australia, and the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office where we gave a one hour presentation to state directors.

Some MPs were visibly moved by the accounts we shared. Some acknowledged us as a credible source for informing them. The Chief of Staff for one very senior MP commented, ‘We have so much respect and admiration for the work you do. All the best.’ Download a copy of the full report.

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