We can be the generation that ends slavery

MEDIA RELEASE: Religious Leaders Come Together in New Zealand to Eradicate Modern Slavery

9 November 2018 – HRH Queen Nanasipau’u of Tonga, together with senior church leaders from 17 Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand, have gathered in Auckland, New Zealand for the signing ceremony of the Joint Declaration Against Modern Slavery.

The 1 November, 2018 event brought together faith leaders, heads of councils of churches and government representatives representing 15 denominations to attend proceedings and mark the launching of the Pacific Freedom Network.

During the ceremony, the Religious Leaders’ Joint Declaration Against Modern Slavery was signed by:

  • Rev Dr Tevita Koloa’ia Havea, Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
  • Archbishop George Takeli, Anglican Church of Micronesia (Solomon Islands)
  • Rev Bernard Siai, Papua New Guinea National Council of Churches
  • Nukanuka Tauevihi, Niue Council of Churches
  • Faaeteeete Saifoloi, Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa
  • Allen Nafuki, Vanuatu Council of Churches (Presbyterian)
  • Illiesa Naivalu, Fiji Council of Churches
  • Rev Dr Finau Ahio, National Council of Churches Chairman; President of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
  • Samaauga Motu, Samoa Council of Churches
  • Etenaiti Tiroba, Kiribati Uniting Church
  • Rev Francois Pihaatae, General Secretary of Pacific Council of Churches (Maohi Protestant Church)
  • Kalahati Kilei, The Congregational Christian Church of Tuvalu

The new signatories join 71 other Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Sikh, Baha’i, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox leaders who have signed the Joint Declaration at historic events in Vatican City (2014), Canberra (2015), New Delhi (2015), Jakarta (2017) Buenos Aires (2017) and Medellin (2018).

This event took place alongside the Pacific Conference of Churches’ General Assembly, where leaders and key representatives across the Pacific gathered in Auckland, New Zealand from 29 October-1 November.

The assembly meets once every five years and one of the main agenda items is for delegates to determine their priority areas for the next five years. Modern day slavery was unanimously supported as one of these priorities and has been put forward by the secretariat to the council. It is anticipated that this will be adopted, and focus groups established in the coming months.

According to a census taken in 2013, more than three-quarters of Pacific people identified as Christian. An engaged leadership will raise the profile of these issues and bring modern slavery into focus, where it has been hidden, misunderstood or ignored.

“Today’s development by the Pacific Conference of Churches is really important in strengthening that support mechanism for the Pacific Islander diaspora, and we’re working with faith leaders in Australia and NZ to make sure we can support those people, and end the abuses,” Walk Free Foundation’s The Honourable Chris Evans said.

At the event, leaders spoke of their duty to care for the needs of those who have been discriminated against and treated unfairly.

Moe Turaga told of his own experience being held in modern slavery in Australia, where he was promised work, study and the opportunity to earn an income for his mother in Fiji.

“I didn’t know how much money my cousin was getting from my labour,” Mr Turaga said.

“There was never any contract or accounting for my work. I jumped on a truck at 6 am and pruned and picked grapes until 6 pm or dusk, seven days a week. These grapes went to supermarkets and farmers markets in Melbourne and Sydney.

“After about two years, I was finally able to contact my mother and found out that my cousin had never sent any money to her. I couldn’t believe this, and I was emotionally devastated. I felt cheated and deceived by this man, who I and our community trusted, but I also felt trapped.”

40.3 million people globally are victims of modern slavery according to The Walk Free Foundation’s 2018 Global Slavery Index. The UNODC reported that the Pacific region is a source, transit point and destination for human trafficking, particularly for sexual exploitation purposes or to provide labour for local extractive industries, including fishing, logging and mining. (UNODC (2016). Transnational Organized Crime in the Pacific: A Threat Assessment.)

Pacific migrant workers will often travel to Australia, New Zealand and further afield to gain formal and informal employment opportunities. Though strong steps have been taken by both sending and receiving countries, more work must be done on a community level to raise awareness on these issues of modern slavery and related forms of exploitation.

ENDS.

For more information, visit: www.globalfreedomnetwork.org

Media contact
Tess Ingram                        tingram@minderoo.com.au        +61 448 922 364

 

About Walk Free Foundation
Walk Free Foundation is a philanthropic foundation established to drive the eradication of modern slavery worldwide. The Foundation provides the information and tools necessary for countries to fight against slavery in their jurisdictions. Walk Free Foundation joins forces with governments (Global Slavery Index), businesses / corporations (Bali Process Business Forum) and global religions (Global Freedom Network).

MEDIA RELEASE: Religious Leaders Unite in Colombia to Eradicate Modern Slavery

Medellín, COLOMBIA, 26 August 2018 – Latin American faith leaders have united to jointly declare their commitment to stand against modern slavery.

The religious leaders were brought together at a historic event in Medellin, Colombia, organised by the Global Freedom Network, an initiative of the Walk Free Foundation, in collaboration with the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM). The event united religious leaders from the region to commit to eradicating modern slavery through spiritual and practical actions.

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JK Beberkan Bentuk Perbudakan Modern yang Harus Diberantas

By CNN

CNN – Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla turut hadir dalam acara penandatanganan deklarasi memberantas perbudakan modern yang digagas oleh Global Freedom Network dan Universitas Paramadina. Dalam acara tersebut JK membeberkan bentuk-bentuk perbudakan modern di zaman sekarang.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Indonesian religious leaders unite against modern slavery

This morning, seven religious leaders who represent all religions constitutionally admitted in Indonesia; Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism gathered and expressed their commitment to stand united against modern slavery in an event hosted by the Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, at the Vice Presidential Palace, Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta.

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Religious leaders vow to end slavery in India

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India joins fight against Slavery

By CP Singh, NewZNew

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Global Freedom Network takes global multi-faith fight against modern slavery to India

  • Eight national faith and spiritual leaders sign Declaration against Modern Slavery
  • All-faith call recognizes Modi Government’s initiatives against human trafficking, creation of national anti-trafficking body
  • Pledge to tackle modern slavery, including bonded labour, forced marriage, child labour & human trafficking
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(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met in the Vatican on Tuesday with members of St Peter’s Cricket Club who are preparing for their ‘Light of Faith Tour’ to England. The Club, which was set up last year under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is comprised mainly of seminarians from India and Sri Lanka who will be challenging a Church of England team in Canterbury on Friday September 19th.

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30 July is the UN World Day against Trafficking in Persons. To mark the event, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican-based Global Freedom Network (an initiative of Pope Francis and Justin Welby) and the US Embassy to the Holy See hosted a round table discussion based on the 2014 Report on Trafficking in Persons produced by the US Department of State.

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Catholics, Anglicans endorse work of Global Freedom Network

By Vatican Radio, News.va

(Vatican Radio) Catholic and Anglican leaders have pledged to try and rid their churches of any links to slavery and human trafficking which they describe as one of the most “devastating and crippling problems” facing people on the planet today. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby began a two day visit to Rome on Sunday, meeting with staff and supporters of the Global Freedom Network, an ecumenical-interfaith initiative launched last March and housed within the Pontifical Academy for Sciences.

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Representantes de las principales confesiones religiosas han firmado un acuerdo para erradicar la “esclavitud moderna” y la trata de seres humanos en el mundo antes de 2020. Con este acuerdo, que se ha hecho público este lunes en el Vaticano, se presenta la Red mundial para la Libertad (Global Freedom Network).

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‘Twiggy’ leads global anti-slavery crusade

By James Bourne, ABC

Australian mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest has revealed how a personal encounter with slavery led to an agreement between the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of Sunni Islam.

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