Image from UN Women.

2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

We all know that human trafficking and modern slavery happens here in Australia and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (25 November) begins 16 days of prayer and action, concluding on Human Rights Day (10 December) to raise awareness of the violence that is happening in this country and across the world.

As Josephites, we join in a special way this year with the International Sisters of St Joseph and women across the world to help eradicate this injustice.

Human trafficking, part of a $150 billion global industry, is one of the greatest examples of violence against women and girls. As well, millions of women and girls are forced to marry or to work in terrible conditions for little pay and no chance of an education.

Four important actions we can take:

  1. We can pray for those who are suffering and show support for those who are working for justice in this area, including our own Sr Margaret Ng (Coordinator of the Josephite Counter-Trafficking Project).
  2. There are two very practical questions we can ask:
    • Who is making my clothes?
    • How sweet is my chocolate?
  3. We can circulate information to our families and friends and parish bulletins where we have links.
  4. We can go to the ACRATH 16 Days website here to find RESPECT posters, stories, actions, prayers, resources and more information about this global campaign.

Pope Francis reminds us:

It is not possible to remain indifferent before the knowledge that human beings are bought and sold like goods!
Pope Francis, Message to Brazilian conference on “Fraternity and Human Trafficking”, 5.3.14