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.
For more information, visit: www.globalfreedomnetwork.org
Tess Ingram firstname.lastname@example.org +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).
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.
Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 16th, 2017 – For the first time in the Americas, Global Freedom Network has brought together religious leaders of the Christian Catholic and Orthodox, as well as Hindu, Evangelical, Jewish, Sikh, Anglican and Muslim faiths who have jointly declared their commitment to stand united against modern slavery.
WARTA KOTA – Artis sekaligus penyanyi muda Maudy Ayunda menerima tantangan mengisi hari-harinya untuk beraktivitas menjadi duta untuk membawa pesan kepada generasi muda melawan perbudakan modern.
TRIBUNNEWS.COM – Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla sepakat dengan gerakan tokoh agama yang menginginkan penghapusan perbudakan modern.
KOMPAS – Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla mengatakan, sejumlah kebijakan yang dikeluarkan pemerintah belum berhasil mereduksi praktik perbudakan di masyarakat.
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.
Tabloidjubi – Wakil Presiden Jusuf Kalla menyaksikan secara langsung penandatanganan deklarasi pemberantasan perbudakan modern oleh para pemuka agama di Indonesia.
Antaranews – Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla has lauded and expressed support to the measures adopted by religious leaders who are committed to eradicating modern-day slavery by signing an agreement at the Vice Presidential offices in Jakarta, Tuesday.
JAKARTA GLOBE – Indonesian religious leaders call for an end to slavery in a declaration signed in Jakarta on Tuesday. The gesture is part of a global movement against the human trafficking and forced labor.
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.
NEW DELHI : Indian religious leaders vowed on Thursday to use their influence to end modern slavery, saying the exploitation, abuse and confinement of millions of men, women and children around the world was a “crime against God”.Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Jain and Baha’i leaders and representatives signed a declaration, organised by the Australia-based Global Freedom Network, pledging to help eradicate slavery and human trafficking by 2020.
NEW DELHI, Dec 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Indian religious leaders vowed on Thursday to use their influence to end modern slavery, saying the exploitation, abuse and confinement of millions of men, women and children around the world was a “crime against God”.
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Eleven Indian faith and spiritual leaders signed a joint declaration to end modern slavery within a generation at the Global Freedom Network gathering in Delhi today. This landmark declaration was signed by faith and spiritual leaders from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Jain, Sikh, Zoroastrian, Baha’i and Jewish faiths; who together represent 95% of the Indian population of 1.2 billion people.
ANDREW “Twiggy” Forrest wants Australia’s looming free trade agreement with India to include a commitment to tackling modern slavery within the world’s seventh largest economy.
- 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
- India has highest number of modern slaves, according to 2014 Global Slavery Index
Archbishop of Canterbury congratulates both sides after historic match to raise awareness of Anglican-Roman Catholic efforts to wipe out modern slavery.
St Peter’s XI have embarked on ‘a spiritual venture’ in Britain for a game of contrasts between the two faiths in Canterbury.
(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.
Pope signs the bat Vatican team will take with them during first-ever cricket tour of England, including match against team fielded by the Queen at Windsor Castle.
Pope Francis has blessed the Vatican’s cricket club ahead of the team’s first ever tour of England.
Papa Francesco ha ricevuto, in forma privata a Santa Marta, un gruppo di sacerdoti e seminaristi del St. Peter’s Cricket Club, provenienti da diverse Università e Collegi Pontifici a Roma, che il 19 settembre prossimo affronteranno a Canterbury una squadra della Chiesa d’Inghilterra.
ROME – After having tried his hand last month at promoting peace in the Middle East, Pope Francis this week waded into another of the world’s seemingly intractable problems, in this case a booming illegal industry of trafficking in human beings.
(Vatican Radio) The first World Day against Trafficking in Persons is being marked on Wednesday July 30th, with a call to action to step up the fight and support the survivors.
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.
The Governor of Sindh province in Pakistan has given the Vatican cricket club money and cricket-bats ahead of its tour in England, and plans to send a leading Pakistani cricket player to coach the team in October.
James Kofi Annan, from Ghana, shared his experiences as a survivor of modern day slavery, when he met the Global Freedom Network Council in Rome on 16 June.
(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.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is to meet the Pope in Rome later to discuss their project to combat people-trafficking and slavery.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis and the archbishop of Canterbury denounced human trafficking as a crime against human dignity Monday and pledged to combat it jointly — finding common ground on a social issue amid deep theological divisions over the Anglicans’ ordination of women bishops.
On 16 June at the Vatican, the Archbishop of Canterbury will meet with Pope Francis to strengthen their commitment to work together to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking as crimes against humanity.
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).
Major religious faiths around the world are joining forces to fight the scourge of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has launched an organisation aimed at ending modern slavery, gaining the support of the Pope and a major Islamic organisation.
The terrified screams of a traumatised sex-trafficked teenager, witnessed by an Australian billionaire, have led to a history-making alliance between three of the world’s major religions to end slavery.
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.
An Australian jackaroo-turned-mining magnate brought together the Anglican Church and the Vatican on Monday in an ambitious plan to stamp out modern-day slavery, which affects an estimated 30 million people worldwide.
The Vatican,1 Monday 17 March 2014 — Eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020 is the objective of a ground-breaking agreement announced today at the Vatican.