• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Friday, 09 June 2017 09:31

Groundbreaking anti-slavery project a first for Australia’s health care sector

Rate this item
(0 votes)

acrath logo 150Australia’s leading anti-human trafficking group and a major health and aged care provider have joined forces in a groundbreaking effort to change the way hospitals treat trafficked people and how to ‘slavery proof’ the goods and services they use.

ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) have launched the Human Trafficking Project, thought to be a first in Australia’s health care sector.

The project will look at how trafficked people – who may present at any of SVHA’s hospitals Australia-wide – can be identified and receive necessary treatment, support, referrals and access to services. This includes women who have been sexually exploited, people facing forced marriage and people who have experienced forced labour.

The project will also look at how to make sure the goods and services procured by St Vincent’s are slavery-free. This means investigating supply chains to make sure a diverse range of goods – everything from medical equipment through to cotton sheets and gowns, and chocolates sold for hospital fundraising – have been produced without the use of enslaved or forced labour.

According to the Trafficking in Persons – Australian Government Response 2015-2016 report, the Australian Federal Police received 691 referrals relating to human trafficking and slavery-related offences between 2004 and 30 June 2016.

A recent report by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation and The Australia Institute described how the production of every day medical goods – including surgical gloves, hospital garments, scissors, forceps, scalpels and suture needles – are associated with labour and human rights abuses in developing countries.

acrath and st vincents sm

ACRATH’s executive officer Christine Carolan said work around the long-term project had already begun by developing new supply chain policies for SVHA’s procurement department.

“Slavery proofing supply chains also extends to the employment of people providing services. One example would be ensuring all staff working for third-party cleaning contractors engaged by St Vincent’s are employed under Australian labour regulations,” said Ms Carolan.

SVHA’s Group Mission Leader Lisa McDonald says, “The project is an example of our deep commitment to working with people who are vulnerable.“

“We know that most people who find themselves trapped in modern day slavery attend a hospital at some point. In health care we have a unique window of opportunity to not only address their health care needs, but to invite an organisational response in a way that might bring wider hope and transformation.”

“This sort of change will take time, but within a year we hope to have taken some bold steps to address human trafficking that will provide a blueprint for the entire health system,” said Ms McDonald.

For more information contact: Paul Andrews 0409 665 495

Photo, right, shows the working party members include, SVHA Group Mission Leader Lisa  McDonald, Doris Testa csb, Chief Social Worker, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Lisa Braddy,  Louise Cleary csb, Executive Officer of ACRATH Christine Carolan,  Project worker Liz Payne and (at back) John Willis SVHA Group Manager Inclusive Health.


News & Views

Spirituality & Prayer

Subscribe here to receive Pathways, our monthly eNews.
catchme refresh
Joomla Extensions powered by Joobi

Gospel Reflection

  • Pursuing justice whatever the cost
    Pursuing justice whatever the cost Reflection on the Gospel- 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A, 1 October 2017 (Matthew 21:28-32) Mercy Sister Veronica Lawson suggests that changing one’s mind can be an act of…

Justice Network

Caring for Creation

Featured Ministries

  • A fortunate ministry in the Top End
    A fortunate ministry in the Top End Sister Leone Wittmack's ministry in the Northern Territory entails going out to the margins of Australia in some of the remotest areas of the country,…