ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans)
Following on from the UISG Plenary commitments in 2001 and 2004 there was interest in Australia. In November 2004 a meeting sponsored by Australian Catholic University (ACU), the Brigidine Sisters and ForceTen was held with a general invitation to participants who wished to address the problem of human trafficking in Australia. Further meetings took place in 2015. Towards the end of 2004 other meetings took place at St Scholastica’s Congregational Centre in Sydney where conversations began with representatives from the Sisters of St Joseph and the Sisters of the Good Samaritan. Pauline Coll sgs and Margaret Ng rsj became the face of the Good Samaritan and Josephite efforts. Early in 2005 further meetings of like minded people happened. In April 2005 Sr Louise Cleary, Brigidine Sister, met with Sr Pauline Col, Good Samaritan Sister in a coffee shop in Brisbane. From this came the suggestion that a meeting be called – inviting Leaders of Congregations to either be present themselves or to send a representative. The purpose of the meeting was to ask the question: Can we collaborate in Australia as a counterforce to address this form of modern day slavery? From this meeting came the initial group – the Intercongregational Anti-Trafficking Working Group. A defining action was undertaken during the latter part of 2005. This was the determination of a Steering group who had come together under the banner of the Religious Congregations’ Anti-Trafficking Working Group (RCATWG) to write a Shadow CEDAW (Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) report to be presented in January 2006 to the CEDAW Committee at the United Nations. In early 2006 the group was growing and it was eventually decided to change the name of the group to Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH).
ACRATH is endorsed by Catholic Religious Australia. Individual Religious Institutes and regional conferences of CRA provide significant funding and both regionally and nationally ACRATH is in liaison with CRA. ACRATH, an Association in civil law, is incorporated as a charitable institution for the “principal activity of promoting in Australia the prevention and control of human behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings and which otherwise infringes upon, denies or fails to protect their human rights, specifically in promoting the elimination of the trafficking of human beings” (Rules of Association). ACRATH is governed by the ACRATH National Committee. Membership of the national Committee comprises • the offices of the Association (President, Secretary and Treasurer) • Regional Coordinators for each State of territory in Australia where ACRATH is operating • up to two General Committee members The National Executive Officer, appointed by the National Committee, works in partnership with the National Committee to lead the development and execution of ACRATH’s Strategic Plan in accordance with ACRATH’s vision and mission, and the accountability of ACRATH Inc. to its constituents and stakeholders. In accordance with the commitment to subsidiarity, the local regional group is entrusted, under the leadership of the Regional Coordinator, and with the assistance of the Executive Officer when required, with devising the particular strategies and projects suitable to the Region for local implementation. Periodic reporting to the ACRATH National Committee on the implementation of the Strategic Plan is the responsibility of the Regional Coordinator. ACRATH has a national office situated at: 54 Beaconsfield Parade Albert Park, Victoria 3206 Australia Ph 61 3 9645 5986 Email: email@example.com