Stopping the Traffik in Australia
Stop The Traffik is now a registered charity in Australia.
“This marks an exciting new chapter for us,” said Carolyn Kitto, Stop The Traffik’s Australia coordinator and Uniting Church member. “It says we are here to stay and we will be here until human trafficking has stopped.”
“As you may have read in previous issues of Insights, we are all implicated in modern-day slavery in that many of the goods we eat, walk on, play with, dry ourselves with are made with trafficked labour.
“The good news is that much has been achieved, due in part to members of Stop The Traffik – the Fair Trade (or Rainforest Alliance or UTZ) labels on chocolate are becoming more familiar to more people in mainstream supermarkets and many leading clothing companies are ensuring that their cotton is not sourced from the forced labour of adults and children in Uzbekistan.
“In addition, Stop The Traffik has put the needs of people trafficked into Australia on our government’s agenda. Stop The Traffik has continued to coordinate the coalition of anti-trafficking organisations in Australia so that we can support each other in our work, including the care of victims of trafficking in Australia.
“Regrettably human trafficking continues to grow in Australia and around the world.
“Stop The Traffik will continue to pressure chocolate companies, the clothing industry and to ask our government to engage with industry concerning the source of all goods imported to Australia. We will educate our young people about keeping themselves and others safe from trafficking.
“To achieve our aims we need the help of concerned people. You can:
- Invite a Stop The Traffik representative to speak at your church – a whole church gathering or a small group. Youth groups enjoy the addition of a chocolate fondue – with Fair Trade chocolate of course! Contact us at www.stopthetraffik.org or Libby Sorrell of Springwood UC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 47541095.
- You can also become familiar with the issues by checking www.stopthetraffik.org, antislavery.org.au, or notforsalecampaign.org. Then enlist the support of others to form an ACT (Active Communities against Trafficking) group in your church, suburb or town. Plenty of back-up is available – we dream of hundreds of ACT groups scattered across Australia!
- Sign our petition to the Senate at www.change.org/slaveryfreeaustralia – this is a quick and important action you can take. Please ask others to sign it as well.
- Have a postcard and petition-signing session over morning tea after church. These relate to our chocolate and cotton campaigns and our appeal to the government about imported goods. For supplies contact STOP THE TRAFFIK as indicated above.
- If you are buying chocolate make sure it is Fair Trade, or Rainforest Alliance (Mars Bars) or UTZ (some KitKats).
In another indication of how the church has been at the forefront of anti-trafficking endeavours, a prominent staff member of Stop The Traffik in Australia, Mark Zirnsac, Director of Justice & International Mission in the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania was recently awarded the inaugural Freedom Award by the Anti-Slavery Project based at the University of Technology Sydney.
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