ACRATH recently submitted their fourth progress report to the Australian Attorney-General’s Department detailing their work over the last 6 months.
Highlights of this reporting period include the following:
- The ACRATH National Conference 2016- No to Exploitation, YES to Dignity.
In February, ACRATH members from around Australia gathered in Sydney to learn and discuss domestic and global issues in regard to human trafficking and slavery. Brynn O’Brien, a lawyer working on human rights, global work and migration issues, was a keynote speaker who spoke about supply chains. Forced marriage and other global issues relevant to human trafficking were also discussed throughout the conference.
- Music for freedom event
A New South Wales ACRATH member organised a fundraising event in May at Del Monte School Hall in Strathfield. The event showcased music groups from Sydney schools and was held to raise awareness about the existence of human trafficking and slavery and to raise funds to support the work of ACRATH. The event was opened by Jodi McKay MP and compared by John Cleary from ABC Radio.
- Work on forced marriage
The ACRATH Forced Marriage Project Worker has followed up on forced marriage related work ACRATH undertook in 2015. The Australian Marriage and Choices Secondary Schools Resource Kit, that was developed and implemented in various pilot secondary schools has been edited and reworked slightly due to feedback received in 2015. The title of the kit has also been changed to My Rights- My Future: Forced Marriage Kit for Australian Secondary Schools. Furthermore, feedback also highlighted that schools are incorporating forced marriage into their curriculum and there is a need to continue to train teachers and use resources provided. ACRATH and Anti-Slavery Australia have been working together to upload My Rights-My Future: Forced Marriage Kit for Australian Secondary Schools, to the Anti-Slavery Australia mybluesky website. The kit is now available to download from – Mybluesky.org.au
- Success of the Slavery-Free Easter Chocolate Campaign
All Australian states engaged thoroughly in the Slavery-free Easter Chocolate Campaign. This year ACRATH developed a number of resources with other Catholic groups, including a news release explaining what the campaign was about, a series of notices for each week of lent to be used in church, parish and school bulletins and a four-page flyer explaining what the various certification systems mean.
- Mayet Latonio visits Australia Social worker, women’s advocate and researcher from the Philippines, Mayet Latonio spent two weeks in Australia in June speaking at various events in Western Australia and Victoria. Mayet spoke at the National Catholic Commission (NCEC) 2016 Conference Faith to Lead-Lead to Faith in Perth and to a local school group. Mayet also spoke at Deakin University in Melbourne, sharing the stories of women that have experienced trafficking and sexual exploitation in the Philippines. Mayet’s visit to Australia was supported by ACRATH.
30th July marks the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. Perhaps you can bring the issue of human trafficking and slavery to light this week within your own community or Parish. For more information on counter human trafficking work, please visit the ACRATH website- www.acrath.org.au