If you learnt that an estimated 15,000 people were living in slavery in Australia, would you be horrified? Sadly, this statistic is real.
Within Australia’s own borders, thousands are living in situations such as forced labour, forced marriages, and forced sexual exploitation.
Those are the facts that the non-profit Freedom Hub want you to know, as they launch their very first ‘Fivers for Survivors Day’ this weekend, on October 12.
They’re asking people to donate $5 or more, to help support men and women who are fleeing slavery situations. Funds will go towards their ‘Survivor School’, rebuilding lives by delivering free classes to help survivors recover from trauma, as well as preparing them for work and life in the community. The school also provides long-term support, social outings, workshops, employment help and tutoring.
- 45 Million Slaves, Says Andrew Forrest’s Global Slavery Index
- Modern Slavery’s Alive in Australia—But a Government Crackdown is On the Way
Founder of Freedom Hub, Sally Irwin, discovered the realities of modern slavery while living in Europe, and was shocked to learn it was also going on at home in Australia.
“Slavery was abolished in England in 1833, and yet for tens of thousands of people in Australia this is their reality in 2018,” she said.
Freedom Hub runs two cafes in Sydney and the Gold Coast, which operate to fund the administration of the organisation, meaning that 100% of donations goes directly to the work of supporting survivors.
Sally explained that the process of waiting for justice can be a very hard time for a survivor of slavery. They may be free from their bondage situation, but often have to wait four to five years before their case is heard in a court. In that time their mental and physical health can deteriorate.
“They find it impossible to trust anyone or function within society,” Sally said.
A small donation towards the Survivor School can have a big impact. Tax deductible donations can be made at https://thefreedomhub.org/donate/.