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League will fight sex slavery trade

Catholic Women's League Australia has put up its hand to join the fight trafficking in human flesh in the sex industry.

The Catholic Weekly reports that it says women - and children - in poorer countries are lured or forced into 'domestic jobs' in Australia and other more affluent countries.

But when they arrive in the new country - Sydney is a known destination - they find themselves enslaved in brothels as prostitutes.

The league decision to enter the battle came after the national president, Peg McEntee, and secretary, Madge Fahy, heard tragic accounts of the plight of the women during meetings in New York of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the Non-Government Organisations Committee.

Sisters from various religious congregations and orders who work in impoverished countries spoke of the women and children being tricked into and trapped in a mire from which there was little chance of escape.

The league's national committee is now communicating with Church and civil community groups to raise awareness about the the issue and to seek ways to give the most appropriate support to victims at the local level.

"In many of the cases," says Peg McEntee, "women, because of their poverty, apply for positions of domestic work overseas.

"When they arrive in the designated country they are put into brothels, their passports are taken and, ifit is an English-speaking country and they don't know English, it's very difficult for them to get out of the situation."

Catholic Women's League Australia Inc

Catholic Weekly

14 Aug 2002