An obsession with profits that ignores the rights of workers must be scrutinised and eliminated to protect vulnerable people, a Catholic expert in migration has told a Senate committee. Source: ACBC Media Blog.
Fr Maurizio Pettenà CS, the director of the Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office, appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration this week. His evidence followed an Australian Catholic Bishops Conference submission to that group earlier this year.
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office is an agency of the Bishops Conference.
Fr Pettenà observed that temporary migrants are vulnerable because of their separation from family and, in some cases, challenges in forming connections with members of the local community.
Those factors make them susceptible to exploitation.
“I know there is a lot of good will in the Australian Parliament to protect temporary migrants from exploitation,” he said.
“Legislation and regulation are an important part of the protections offered and there are probably opportunities to improve legal protections.
“But I want to make the point that the exploitation of people in Australia is also a problem of culture and of people who are breaking moral norms to enrich themselves.”
Fr Pettenà explained that the Church in Australia, led by the Sydney Archdiocese through its Anti-Slavery Taskforce, is a leading light in helping to bring an end to modern slavery.
He also commended governments, organisations and companies that are working to ensure that their supply chains are free from slavery.
Church: Profit-driven culture leads to exploitation (ACBC Media Blog)