As we remember this important event, we need to also be aware that other forms of slavery still exist – and they exist in Australia. One form of the modern-day slave trade is human trafficking.
Forms of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking involves moving some-one into slavery or slavery-like conditions. Victims often go willingly with their traffickers because they are being deceived about the nature and conditions of the work. Elements of human trafficking are:
The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons;
Control of persons by means of threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits;
Exploitation, which includes (at a minimum) exploiting the prostitution of others, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.
Trafficking is a global phenomenon and nearly every country is a source, transit or destination (or combination of these three) for trafficked persons.
We are reminded of the words of Pope Francis for the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking (Sunday 8th February):
“Pray, reflect and act against human trafficking as objects for the sale of organs, for recruitment as soldiers, for begging, for illegal activities such as the production and sale of narcotics, or for the disguised forms of cross-border adoption, for use as ransom held by terrorist groups, and above all, for use as sex slaves”
For more information, go to http://acrath.org.au