Archived News Item

Days of significance in August

During August three important events acknowledge the often tragic experiences of people on the move either by force or by choice – the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (August 23), the rescue of 433 asylum seekers in 2001 by the MV Tampa (August 26), and Refugee and Migrant Sunday (August 31).

Iraqi families who have fled across the border into Syria and Jordan often have little but the clothes on their backs. This family in Syria were able to rent a room but little more.
(Source: NCCA).

August 23 is the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. While the means through which modern and traditional forms of slavery have operated differ greatly, the violation of human rights and human dignity are central issues in both practices, such as proclaimed in the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today, millions of people, primarily women and children, are subjected to this tragic fate, thus underscoring the imperative of all countries to address and prevent the trafficking of persons.

Visit: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation: Modern Forms of Slavery

On August 26, 2001 the MV Tampa rescued 433 asylum seekers from a sinking vessel. The Australian government refused entry to its shores and sent troops to prevent disembarkation. The crisis proved to be the catalyst for the so-called ‘border protection’ regime in Australia.

Visit: The Parliament of Australia, Senate Select on a Certain Maritime Incident

Refugee and Migrant Sunday is celebrated on August 31, 2008 in recognition of the contribution refugees have made to Australia and is held every year in thousands of churches around Australia.

Visit: The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office

Visit: The National Council of Churches in Australia

Contact: Carmel Heagerty RSM, Institute Justice Co-ordinator