Tuesday, 16 April 2024

    Network assists slavery victims

    Filipino community leader Roberto Lastica from St Joachim Catholic Church in Lidcombe has seen many cases of modern slavery across the country, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    Among them was a woman from the Philippines in her early 30s who arrived in Australia after responding to an advertisement for student nurses.

    When she boarded her flight she discovered her visa described her as an architect instead of a nurse. Her recruiter told her the visa description would be corrected in Australia.

    When she got here she was told she would be living in a Chinese restaurant, where she would also be working in exchange for food and accommodation, rather than wages.

    Under a new Catholic Church initiative, victims of forced labour and modern slavery will be given access to free legal advice, housing assistance, health care, financial advice and welfare support.

    The Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, said the national network would be linked to 45 Catholic schools, universities, dioceses, health and aged care services, social services and finance and investment services.

    The network, named Domus 8.7, will target victims of modern slavery and those trapped in forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage or human trafficking.

    “This service enables entities to have a safe, confidential conversation about situations of modern slavery and forced labour,” Archbishop Fisher said.

    “Domus 8.7 fills a gap in providing readily available support from a formal perspective, emergency assistance and addressing other needs for people trapped in modern slavery or facing exploitation in the workforce.”

    The name of the service is a reference to the Latin word “domus”, meaning home, and the United Nations Target 8.7 sustainable development goal.


    Catholic Church creates one-stop shop for victims of modern slavery (Sydney Morning Herald)


    Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network