Join ACRATH and the international community for 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
The United Nations 16 days of activism begins on 25th November – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and ends of 10th December – Human Rights Day.
Human trafficking, a $150 billion global industry, is one of the greatest examples of violence against women and girls. As well, millions of women and girls are forced to marry or to work in terrible conditions for little pay and no chance of an education.
Stories of Activism
Read ACRATH’s 16 Days of stories about people and projects combating human trafficking here in Australia and globally. Access stories here.
2020 marks the 30th year of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, initiated in 1991 and coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. November 25th also marks the anniversary of the brutal assassination of Patricia, Maria and Minerva Reyes, three activists in the Dominican Republic in 1960. A focus of the 2020 campaign is on women workers in the informal economy.
Pope Francis reminds us:
“It is not possible to remain indifferent
before the knowledge that human beings
are bought and sold like goods!”
16 Days Toolkit
To assist communities, workplaces, parishes and schools take part in the 16 Days Campaign ACRATH has developed a number of resources. Click on the following icons to access these resources.
Help to raise awareness about the 16 Day of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. Display posters in your community, workplace, parish or school. Download a poster here.
The 16 Days reflection sheet offers a focus for each of the 16 days of activism – 25th November to 10th December. Gather with others and join ACRATH in lighting a candle and praying, reflecting or remembering.
Click here to print a copy of the reflection sheet.
During the 16 Days Campaign we are shining a spotlight on the clothing industry and the production of chocolate and we encourage you to participate in the campaign actions outlined. Many of the women and girls in these industries face forced labour in hazardous conditions with no chance of an education and no chance to escape from a cycle of poverty.
- Ask the Questions
While we are urging schools to participate in these clothing and chocolate campaigns, they are also important community actions and we encourage everyone to become involved.
- Tell others about the 16 Days campaign and encourage them to take part in the action.
- Have the following notice printed in your school. church or community news bulletin:
Join ACRATH and the global community in the 16 days campaign against gender-based violence – November 25th – December 10th.
The campaign calls us to work together to stop the trafficking of girls and women, which is an extreme form of violence. Many face forced marriage or forced labour in hazardous conditions with no chance of an education and no chance to escape from a cycle of poverty.
Please remember all women and girls around the world who are trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and the production of pornography.
Many girls and women face forced laboour in hazardous conditions with no chance of education and no chance of escaping from the cycle of poverty. during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence find out more about the issue by reading some of the following article. Share this information with family, friends and work colleagues.
- Modern day slavery exists throughout the world and in Australia today. It has a different face to what many people may imagine, but the outcome for most is very similar. They are often trapped in poverty and have little chance of education.
Read ACRATH’s Modern Slavery Snapshots here.
- Loreto Sister and ACRATH member Anne Kelly has written on the cotton industry, particularly in relation to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in 2013. Anne challenges us to think differently about our consumption.
- Oxfam released a report, Still In The Dark – Lifting the Cloak on the Global Garment Trade in April 2016. The report reveals almost 60% of Australia’s major brands are cloaked in secrecy. Oxfam has investigated 12 of Australia’s major fashion retailers. Of these, Oxfam found only five have taken strong action to ensure the transparency of their supply chains.
- Each year, Baptist World Aid publishes a series of industry reports through its Behind the Barcode project. The Australian Fashion Report and the Electronics Industry Trends Report seek to help Australians shop ethically, and, by doing so, advocate with their wallets. Between them, the two reports assess more than 400 brands operating in Australia and around the world. The reports grade those brands on the strength of the systems they have in place to protect workers in their supply chain from exploitation, forced labour and child labour.
Please use these prayers and the reflection service in your parish, school assembly or community gathering.
Prayers of Intercession
Leader: Let us pray together that God’s justice and right will break forth in our time.
- We pray for the Christian Communities around the world, for the strength, fortitude and vision of all their leaders and members in addressing the issues of human trafficking. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray for world leaders that they will confront human trafficking in all its forms, by dedicating their time, energy and resources to eradicating it. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray for those in bonded labour, in agricultural fields, mines and factories who have been reduced to tools for production and commodities rather than human beings. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray for women who are estimated to make up 80% of human trafficking victims and for changes in societal attitudes that deny the equality and dignity of women. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray for the development of impoverished nations so that their peoples may know a decent standard of living, have meaningful opportunities for education and employment and thus escape the desperate circumstances that make people vulnerable to human trafficking. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray that the demand for trafficked people will reduce. May men and women grow in appreciation of the dignity of every human person so that we can live in a world where no-one is enslaved. Response: Good of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
- We pray for all who have died as a result of their exploitation and slavery. Response: God of compassion, let justice and right break forth.
Leader: Awaken our hearts and deepen our commitment to work for a world where all people are free and able to live with dignity and freedom. We ask for conversion of heart for traffickers and for strong laws to protect victims. Give us wisdom and courage so that together we will find ways to ensure Your freedom is the gift for all people. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Source: ACRATH (Prayers written by Claire Griffin csb based on US sisters’ reflection)
Anti-trafficking Reflection Service
This two-page anti-trafficking reflection services was prepared by Anne McPhee ibvm, based on a reflection by the late Carol Hogan sss. Please feel free to use all, or part of this reflection during the 16 Days campaign. Click here.
Education might be available for most young people in Australia, but that isn’t the case in many countries around the world for young adults and children (particularly female) who have been trafficked into slavery, or who are forced to marry or to work in unsafe conditions for little money.
According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics an estimated 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were not enrolled in school in 2013.
You have the power to make a difference. If you buy ethically produced clothes, foods and electronic products then you are working to eliminate slavery. This may not lead to all children being able to attend school, but it may improve the conditions in which they work and ensure a ‘living wage’ for their labour. Ask the questions How sweet is my chocolate? and Who made my clothes?
As a school consider incorporating human trafficking into your curriculum using ACRATH’s teaching kit: https://acrath.org.au/teaching-kit/
To find out more about ACRATH’s 16 Days campaign contact firstname.lastname@example.org.