Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) is appealing to the community to donate money to the organisation as a Christmas gift this year. Without a major funding boost, some of ACRATH’s critical programs, will need to be wound up at the end of 2023.
The special appeal coincides with the planned launch on 25 November of the UN-declared 16 days of activism against gender-based violence campaign, which runs until 10 December. The campaign focuses on the needs of victims and survivors of human trafficking, with calls to action and a range of free ACRATH resources to download.
Australians are expected to spend about $24 billion on Christmas this year. ACRATH is hoping some of that will be donated to the organisation, or donated in a person’s name in lieu of a gift.
“What better Christmas gift to give than knowing your donation will help support a victim/survivor of human trafficking heal and begin a new life,” said ACRATH Executive Officer, Christine Carolan.
Christine said the demand for ACRATH’s services had increased and it was now costing more to deliver programs each year. ACRATH programs receive no government funding.
“The needs of the community to respond to human trafficking and modern slavery are sadly greater than ever. We must do this work and we need people to work with us by donating to keep our programs going,” Christine said. “If people follow the 16 days of activism campaign they will understand the demands for ACRATH’s programs and resources.”
“The 16 day campaign calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. This year ACRATH is joining the global campaign by asking people to join us each day as we offer a different focus on the 16 days of activism. We have resources, prayers, and a series of posters to download free and display in your workplace.”
Financial resources this year have been spent on many important programs and projects to prevent human trafficking, including:
- Another year of successful advocacy with Members of Parliament, one result being the success in one of ACRATH’s key advocacy issues. The Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has announced the setting up of a new unit within his department to establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to work with business, civil society and state and territory governments to support compliance with Australia’s Modern Slavery Act 2018 and address modern slavery in supply chains.
- Supporting 36 trafficked women and their 45 children within a Companionship program – more Companions are also being trained.
- Eight online training sessions for healthcare workers across Australia and Timor Leste to raise awareness of human trafficking and what healthcare workers can do to identify and safely refer to the relevant authorities. One ACRATH-trained health workers recently identified a trafficked woman in her Emergency Department and was able to safely refer her on for help.
Donating to ACRATH this Christmas will help ACRATH keep life-saving programs going through 2023 and beyond.