Religious, women speak up against trafficking at UN

Emily Hall, Assistant Section Manager, International Office for Women and Sally Moyle, Branch Manager for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affair, Office for Women discuss CEDAW issues with Sr Joan Kennedy


Sr Joan Kennedy, a member of the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking of Humans (ACRATH), has appeared at the United Nations as part of a presentation to a committee about discrimination against women.

The role of the UN Committee for the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is to check that every country which has signed the Convention lives up to its Convention commitments of eliminating discrimination against women, ACRATH said in a statement.

"ACRATH has anecdotal evidence that trafficked women in both Sydney and Melbourne, after they were found by the police, have returned unwillingly to sex work to pay for housing," Sr Joan said.

"Some of our ACRATH Sisters work closely with trafficked women and are all too familiar with the difficulties women face when they are freed from a trafficked situation. It is very difficult for them to find housing in the city because their English may not be fluent and employment opportunities are limited."

"Imagine the challenge this presents. It is difficult enough for middle income earners in Australia to pay city rents, imagine what it is like for a woman who was trafficked into sex work, finds freedom, struggles to live and sees limited future options. Sadly, we know of women who return to sex work because it is all they know and it will earn them an income."


Australian Sister at UN Speaks of Housing Needs of People Trafficked into Australia (ACRATH)



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