Dear Members and Supporters, this letter is from Louise Cleary csb, ACRATH President, and Christine Carolan, EO.
ACRATH Launches Appeal
ACRATH, Australia’s leading Catholic anti-trafficking organisation, is appealing for funds to continue its support for trafficked people. President Sr Louise Cleary csb said the global pandemic had put millions of vulnerable adults and children at risk of being trafficked. It had also impacted trafficked people across Australia. ACRATH’s fundraising campaign runs over June and July culminating on 30 July – UN World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. ACRATH receives no government funding and relies on the generosity of the community to fund its work to combat human trafficking through advocacy, awareness raising and support for trafficked people in Australia.
During the COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020 – 2021 many survivors of trafficking, living in Australia on restricted visas, were not eligible for certain benefits. ACRATH provided assistance to help these people buy food or pay bills. ACRATH’s Executive Officer Christine Carolan said donations were now needed to
maintain programs such as the Companionship Program, which provides long-term day-to-day support for women trafficked in Australia. Some are victims of a forced marriage; others came to Australia and were trafficked into sexual exploitation and forced labour.
The Companionship Program began more than 13 years ago when ACRATH was approached by organisations, including Australian Federal Police, Red Cross, Anti- Slavery Australia and Project Respect. These organisations work with people who have experienced deep trauma and who need a Companion with whom they can talk about their day-to-day struggles. ACRATH’s Companions support trafficked women and their families through the everyday issues and help them navigate the next steps in their post-trafficking lives; they go to court hearings, help them find accommodation and even accompany parents to parent/teacher interviews to try and achieve better educational outcomes for the children of trafficked women. ACRATH has 13 trained and supervised Companions who offer support and friendship to 34 trafficked women and their 45 children. Two Companions also support groups of seasonal workers in Victoria and Queensland.
Meet two ACRATH Companions, Kathy Fagan and Liz Payne, at the first of our new online Conversation Series. Liz and Kathy will talk about their work at on Wednesday 30 June at 11.15 AEST (cuppa) and 11.30 – noon (Conversation).
Join the zoom event:
Rosie Hoban – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pray with and for all those who are touched by the horrors of human trafficking. Enter their world in your imagination and hold their tears and their pain in your heart.
Feel free to use these prayers/reflection or any part of them in order to create what is suitable for your prayer group.
- Prayer to End Trafficking
- Prayer for Trafficking Victims
- Prayer for Anti-trafficking Advocates
- Religious Call and Prayers
– To Victims
– To Traffickers
– To Demanders
– To Governments
– To Religious Leaders
– To All people of Goodwill
- Not for Sale Sunday
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ACRATH National Secretary
“On this World Day against Trafficking in Persons, let us reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for profit and to help victims rebuild their lives.” — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Victims’ Voices Lead the Way
This year’s theme puts victims of human trafficking at the centre of the campaign and will highlight the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. The campaign portrays survivors as key actors in the fight against human trafficking and focusses on the crucial role they play in establishing effective measures to prevent this crime, identify and rescue victims and support them on their road to rehabilitation.
Many victims of human trafficking have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to get help. They have had traumatic post-rescue experiences during identification interviews and legal proceedings. Some have faced revictimization and punishment for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers. Others have been subjected to stigmatization or received inadequate support.
Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centred and effective approach in combating human trafficking.
Human Trafficking: call your government to action
Despite many countries having national trafficking laws in place which are in line with the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol, people continue to be trafficked. What is more, in many countries, victims may still be criminalized while the impunity of traffickers prevails.
Therefore, on the 2019 World Day UNODC is focusing on highlighting the importance of Government action in the interest of victims of trafficking. But the call to action is not only to Governments, we encourage everyone to take action to prevent this heinous crime.
Why Do We Mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.