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Page 20 February 2017
eresource: St Bakhita
Australians are being urged to become more aware
of the extent of human trafficking and slavery in this
country and to respond to Pope Francis’ call to join
with the global community in ending the injustice
against so many people, particularly children.
Pope Francis has declared February 8 2017 to be
the world day of prayer, reflection and action against
human trafficking. He chose this day because it is
the feast day of St Josephine Bakhita, patron saint of
Sudan and victims of slavery.
The theme for this year’s feast day is: They are
children! Not slaves! St Bakhita’s life will be
celebrated in Adelaide at an African Catholic
Community Mass on Sunday February 12 in St Francis
Like Josephine Bakhita, millions of children are
trafficked into domestic servitude every year. They are
also trafficked for sexual exploitation, pornography
production, forced marriage, illegal adoption, forced
labour, and to become child soldiers. The United
Nations estimates that one in every three victims of
trafficking is a child. It is estimated that 30 million
children have lost their childhood through sexual
exploitation over the past 30 years.
ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against
Trafficking in Humans) suggests the following ways
people can help stop human trafficking.
Since 1999, the Australian government
has strengthened law enforcement
tools to investigate and prosecute
suspected cases of human trafficking,
or what is sometimes known as the
much remains to be done to address
root causes, engage community and
empower victims in their quest for
Around the world, men, women and
children are trafficked for a wide range
of exploitative purposes such as:
• Servitude, including the
• Forced labour
• Marrying another person
against their will
• The harvesting of body
Australia is primarily a destination
country for people trafficked from
Asia, particularly Thailand, Korea,
the Philippines and Malaysia. The
majority of trafficked people identified
by Australian authorities have been
women working in the sex industry.
However, in recent years cases of
men and women exploited in a range
of other industry sectors have been
Human trafficking is a different crime
to people smuggling. It is the physical
movement of people across and within
borders through deceptive means,
force or coercion. The people who
commit human trafficking offences
are motivated by the continuing
exploitation of their victims once they
reach their destination.
In contrast, people smuggling is
the organised, irregular movement
of people across borders, usually
on a payment for service basis and
generally does not involve the ongoing
exploitation of the victim by the
• Almost 21 million people are victims of
forced labour – 11.4 million women and
girls and 9.5 million men and boys.
• Almost 19 million victims are exploited
by private individuals or enterprises
and more than 2 million by the state
or rebel groups.
• Of those exploited by individuals or
enterprises, 4.5 million are victims of
forced sexual exploitation.
• Forced labour in the private economy
generates $US150 billion in illegal
profits per year.
• Domestic work, agriculture,
construction, manufacturing and
entertainment are among the sectors
• Migrant workers and indigenous people
are particularly vulnerable to forced
Source International Labour Organisation
• Make the issue of human trafficking into a
topic for your assignment/thesis.
• Organise and support fundraising and
• Put a link to ACRATH on your Facebook and
other social networking sites.
• Start a group that focuses on bringing
awareness of slavery and trafficking to your
peers and local community.
• Inform and warn friends.
• Spread awareness amongst parents groups.
• Raise awareness amongst your children so they can
do the same amongst their friends.
• Ask a local bookstore, coffee shop or your children’s
school to put up posters raising awareness.
• Petition your children’s schools to create events
raising awareness and funds for these issues.
• Create an easily accessible facility to outreach
to victims of this atrocity.
• Have your youth group sponsor an event that
will raise awareness of slavery and trafficking.
• Incorporate prayers for the fight against slavery
and trafficking into your worship services.
issues in their
work and home
Report any suspicious activity or people that may
seem to be involved in human trafficking.
Write a letter to your local mayor/state premier
asking him/her to involve your city in the fight to
end slavery and trafficking.
Call your local travel agents and inform them of the
issue so that they can be aware of and prevent
potential predators from taking trips by signing the
ECPAT Code of Conduct.
Write to your local MP and encourage him/her to
fight for more money to go towards ending slavery
Help start, promote and support a walkathon in your
city to raise money and awareness.
• Get as many student groups as
possible to work together and put on
an event to raise awareness at your
• Start a petition on your campus to
help pressure the government to
allocate resources to stop slavery
• Make posters to spread throughout
your college and student
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