Trafficking in Australia
In her first newsletter as ACRATH, Chair, Sister Maree Marsh csb writes “… we continue to work with compassion and sensitivity to bring justice to those whose rights have been denied through exploitation. We pray for the wisdom and courage as we stand in solidarity and find ways to nurture that freedom God gives us all”.
ACRATH: Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans
Australia is a country of destination for trafficked persons. Women have been trafficked into Australia for sexual exploitation, domestic service, mail-order brides, sweat shops and manufacturing. Men have been exploited into working in slave like conditions in the construction and agriculture areas as well as hospitality. There have been some young children who have been trafficked for adoption. Child sex tourism involves Australian men travelling to Asian countries. The government has very strong laws in relation to this and there have been Australians prosecuted for this crime. People are trafficked into Australia from countries in south east Asia.
The latest issue of ACRATH News begins with words from Sister Maree Marsh csb, the newly elected chairperson. Maree acknowledged the determination of all ACRATH members in “addressing insistently at every level the exploitation of women, men and children.” Other items of ACRATH News include:
· Mrs Marietta Latonio and Sister Angela Reed rsm, keynote presenters at the National Conference: “I have a Voice – Giving Voice to Women who have been Trafficked”;
· ACRATH members making connections with NGOs in Geneva;
· participating in the Pacific Trafficking in Persons Forum;
· supporting New Zealand Religious Congregations as they take up their anti-trafficking endeavours;
· raising awareness on human trafficking issues in South Australia.
Sisters of Mercy who attended the ACRATH National Conference: Catherine Seward, Therese Power, Carole McDonald, Helen Kearins, Anne Tormey, Angela Reed, Carmel Heagerty, Meredith Evans.
Anti-Slavery Australia: Educational videos http://www.antislavery.org.au/resources/educational-videos.html
Carmel Heagerty, Institute Justice Co-ordinator: Institute.Justice@mercy.org.au