ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) has launched a national fund-raising appeal after today’s announcement from the Federal Government revealed that it would not be funding ACRATH this year.
ACRATH’s $125,000 one-year grant from the Federal Government ran out on June 30 2018.
ACRATH’s Executive Officer Christine Carolan said the organisation was hopeful of further Government funding in the future, but was now completely reliant on the generosity of the community to continue working to combat modern day slavery and forced marriage.
“We are very disappointed that the Government has not funded us for the coming year. But we are hopeful that the community, particularly the Catholic community, will support our work. We have come so far, but in some ways we are only just beginning to tackle emerging issues such as forced labour and forced marriage,” Ms Carolan said.
To continue programs in the coming year ACRATH needs $300,000. In partnership with parishes, schools, businesses and community groups and in the corridors of Parliament, ACRATH works to combat human trafficking in all its forms. In the past year ACRATH has:
- Extended its partnership with St Vincent’s Health Australia which is changing the way hospitals identify and treat trafficked people and ‘slavery proof’ the goods and services they use. This project is now in its second year and has raised awareness amongst 17,000 staff.
- Helped establish the Victoria-Tasmania Catholic Anti-Slavery Working Group along with the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and supported the work of the Sydney Archdiocese’s Anti-slavery Taskforce.
- Advocated with other NGOs for justice for young people facing a forced marriage. This joint advocacy has led to the provision of 200 days of support and funded accommodation for a young person at risk of forced marriage – not linked to their involvement in criminal prosecution of their parents or carers.
- Worked in dozens of schools across the country informing students of the support available if they face a forced marriage. These sessions have also supported teachers and school counsellors on how best to respond to a disclosure.
- Disseminated forced marriage awareness-raising materials in 4 states to ACRATH volunteers and marriage celebrants.
- Created awareness in the community, particularly in vulnerable communities, of the risk of labour exploitation.
- Assisted 28 trafficked women through our Companionship Program, supported by 17 trained volunteers; 24 children are assisted through the program.
- Over 7,705 hours of volunteer time donated, conservatively costed at $238,189.
ACRATH, and other groups, have also worked for years to see the Modern Slavery Bill introduced into Federal Parliament in June this year. This Bill will require Australia’s largest businesses, with annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to publish annual statements on the steps they are taking to address modern slavery in their supply chains and operations.
Please make a donation to ACRATH today. Donations can be made via direct deposit into the ACRATH Public Fund or by post:
Cheques payable to ACRATH Public Fund and posted to:
ACRATH National Office,
54 Beaconsfield Pde, Albert Park, 3206.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
ACRATH Public Fund
BSB 063 111 Account number 10802141
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you make a donation by direct deposit giving name and contact details so that a receipt can be sent. Thank you
With thanks to ACRATH.