Schools join battle against modern slavery

Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli and students with slavery-free products at the launch yesterday (Melbourne Catholic)

Students across Melbourne Catholic schools are joining the battle to beat slavery and human trafficking, with the official launch of the Make your school slavery-free resource. Source: Melbourne Catholic.

Developed by Catholic Education Melbourne, in collaboration with ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and the Melbourne Archdiocese, the resource aims to help schools transition to a slavery-free environment by creating a slavery-free staffroom.

The resource is a guide to introduce fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate in workplaces, parishes and homes and help the transition to a slavery-free environment become more widespread.

Melbourne Archbishop Peter A. Comensoli and ACRATH co-founder Sr Louise Cleary CSB launched the kit yesterday at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in inner-Melbourne.

In his Gospel reflection during Mass, the Archbishop made a clear link between social justice initiatives like the launch of the resource kit and Christ bringing the good news to the poor. “How do we make this good news real, here and now? That’s what you’re doing with launching this resource. It’s really about what can we do to bring the good news to those who are enslaved,” Archbishop Comensoli said.

“There are slaves in our city. People who are in bonded employment.”

After Mass, students from Aquinas, St Pius X and Academy along with guests including Associate Vice-Chancellor of ACU John Ballard and others from the Melbourne Archdiocese, Catholic Education Melbourne, ACRATH and Caritas made their way into the Academy library.

Mark Clarke from the Archdiocesan Office for Justice and Peace introduced Sr Louise Cleary to officially launch the kit with Archbishop Peter.

“Today, we’re conscious that education can help eliminate slavery. We can become informed consumers and ask the difficult questions: where did the cocoa beans come from in my chocolate? Did the workers get a living wage to produce it? Were children exploited?’

“In launching the making your school slavery-free resource kit, we’re taking a first step in the archdiocese and across Catholic schools in Melbourne.”

The kit itself doesn’t exist in hard copy but is accessible by scanning a QR code. With the assistance of a student, the Archbishop scanned the QR code and the Make your school slavery-free resource was officially launched.


Students ending slavery: Make Your School Slavery-Free Resource Kit launches (Melbourne Catholic

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