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AFN members speak to John Cleary

8 December 2015

AFN members speak to John Cleary

This week amidst the turbulence of Canberra's last sitting week, you may have caught another event in the media from the national capital.

Mining magnate Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest launched the Australian arm of his Global Freedom Network to combat human trafficking.

One year after the Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery was signed in Vatican City, Mr Forrest, chairman of the Global Freedom Network, joined with more than a dozen Australian religious leaders calling for a clamp down on slavery across the country, declaring no one should be enslaved in Australia after five years.

Slavery is a strange and almost alien term to associate with a democratic country like Australia, but as recent exposes from agriculture to retail have shown, exploitation merely requires opportunity.

According to the Global Slavery Index, in 2015 some 35.8 million people are still living in conditions akin to slavery.

Even here in Australia, the number is estimated to be close to 3,000. They may not be wearing chains or manacles, but according to Commissioner James Condon of the Salvation Army they can be found across the economy.


  • Jenny Stanger, Salvation Army
  • Sr Noelene Simmons, ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious against Trafficking in Humans)
  • Sheikh Ahmed Abdo, NSW Muslim Police Chaplain
  • Fuzz Kitto, National Coordinator, Stop the Traffik

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