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News March 2014

What the Catholic Church Teaches on Asylum and Migration

Media Release by ACMRO

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office launched a pamphlet yesterday on what the Catholic Church teaches about the pastoral care and rights of asylum seekers and migrants. It summarises 100 years of Catholic social teaching on the issue of migration. Click here to read the media release.

News from the Refugee Council of Australia 

International condemnation for Australia's asylum policies

Australia’s asylum policies were strongly criticised at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Standing Committee, with an international NGO statement detailing a long list of measures that failed to uphold international protection standards. In a statement, RCOA president Phil Glendenning reports that Australia’s policy on repelling asylum seekers is destructive in every way, impacting on the mental health and wellbeing of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. To read this statement, click here.
The UNHCR Standing Committee report on Asia and the Pacific can be accessed here.

ACRATH campaign

Slavery-free chocolate 

Much of the chocolate available in Australia comes from cocoa beans picked by children, many of whom have been trafficked or forced to work in exploitative conditions. It is estimated that there are over 800,000 children working in the cocoa industry today, with 5-10% of these having been trafficked. ACRATH has collaborated with various other organisations to raise awareness about the issue of forced and trafficked labour in the chocolate industry. To learn more about this issue, click here.

ACRATH National Conference

In what new ways can ACRATH tackle human trafficking across our region of Asia and the Pacific? 

During the recent ACRATH National Conference members of ACRATH were informed and encouraged to take action on the issue of sex trafficking across Asia and the Pacific. Another item discussed was the development of an online education resource which has been trialled with teachers and students, and then delivered in three teacher training sessions. To access this resource, click here.

UNHCR Report

Industrialised countries see 28 per cent jump in asylum applications 

A recent UNHCR report shows a significant increase in asylum claims in 44 industrialised countries during 2013, largely due to the crisis in Syria. Germany received the highest number of asylum claims, with North America receiving the second highest number of applications. Click here to read more.

New website for JRS Australia

JRS Australia has launched a new website. You can read about the new site by clicking here and view the site at If you would like to receive regular updates about their work you can sign up to their quarterly newsletter link on the sites homepage. 

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