By Amanda Murthy
“We the Church have to show the love of Christ towards migrants, and defend those who are victims of human trafficking. We have to be the voice of the voiceless.”
These sentiments were delivered by Melbourne-born Columban Missionary Priest Father Peter O’Neill SSC, who was in Western Australia on Thursday 5 April to share some of his first-hand experiences following his missionary work in Taiwan, where he witnessed what he describes as “modern slavery at its worst”.
According to the 2017 International Labour Organisation & Walk Free Foundation report, there are 5.4 victims of modern slavery for every 1000 people in the world.
WACMRO Director Deacon Gregory Lowe and JEDO Director Carol Mitchell joins Columban Priest Father O’Neill are all part of organisations fighting for the causes of human trafficking and slavery, faith, migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees, ecology, and climate change issues in Australia. Photo: Carol Mitchell.
The talk was attended by numerous Catholic religious groups and Archdiocesan agency staff including WACMRO Director Deacon Gregory Lowe and JEDO Director Carol Mitchell, who is also an ACRATH member.
WACMRO and JEDO co-hosted the event in Doubleview under the St Josephine Bakhita Conversation Series – Fr Peter O’Neill’s presentation, Human Trafficking in Asia, was the inaugural talk under this title.
Some of the ACRATH (WA) members present, Carol Mitchell, Kathy Fagan, Sr Ann McGlinn and Sr Marie Therese Ryder posing together with Fr Peter O’Neill SSC before his talk titled Human Trafficking in Asia. Photo: Amanda Murthy.