To mark the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, the Australian Freedom Network was launched today at Parliament House in Canberra. The Australian Freedom Network brings together faith communities making a firm commitment to practical actions to tackle modern slavery in Australia.
Having been inspired by global faith leaders, Australian faith leaders signed the same Joint Declaration of Religious Leaders Against Modern Slavery signed last year in Vatican City at the launch of the Global Freedom Network.
Mrs. Louise Markus MP sponsored the gathering. The Hon Julie Bishop Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon Tanya Plibersek Acting Leader of the Opposition and Chairman of the Global Freedom Network, Andrew Forrest, spoke at the event, which was led by Commissioner James Condon of The Salvation Army Eastern Territory. Former CNN breakfast presenter and host of SBS Dateline, Anjali Rao, was Mistress of Ceremony.
The Global Slavery Index estimates 35.8 million people are enslaved globally with 3,000 people estimated to be enslaved in Australia. In 2015 shocking abuses of people in Australian agriculture, food production and retail franchises have been exposed on an unprecedented scale.
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