December 2012 News

Addressing Human Trafficking In December 2011, a group of Religious met in Auckland following an NGO forum held in Wellington on the theme, Pacific Trafficking in Persons. The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possible formation of a group to address human trafficking and associated human rights abuses in New Zealand. Present at both the forum and subsequent Auckland meeting were representatives of ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking of Humans). In February this year, 12 Religious representing nine Congregations joined together in Auckland to discern how best to address human trafficking issues in New Zealand. With the support and encouragement of ACRATH and CLCANZ, New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking of Humans (NZRATH) came into being. In addition to regular group meetings, NZRATH hosted a public meeting at which researchers investigating human rights abuses (trafficking) of crew on Foreign Charter Fishing Vessels made an excellent presentation. Alan Bell, Director of ECPAT Child Alert (child exploitation and child prostitution) also addressed the group. While NZRATH has yet to finalise its major focus of action, there is significant room within the Catholic and wider community for group members’ wide-ranging educational skills to be used in addressing human trafficking and associated human rights abuses. ACRATH, which has been working for several years on human trafficking matters, particularly through education, media and advocacy at all levels (including Parliamentary), will host a three day conference in Sydney (February 2013) which will be attended by two members of NZRATH, including Jacqui Ryan OP. Please keep
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