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If you think you have been trafficked, enslaved or severely exploited in Australia or are worried about someone in this situation, please call us for confidential advice or an appointment. We will keep your information confidential and we will not contact any person or government department, including immigration, without your consent.
If you are in Australia and need an interpreter please let us know and we will call you back with a professional interpreter. Alternatively, you can call the national free Telephone and Interpreting Service (TIS) and ask them to call us. The TIS number for professional interpreting is 131 450. The TIS operator will ask for your name but you can choose to keep your name confidential.
If you have an emergency please call police or ambulance on 000.
How to identify someone who has been trafficked, enslaved or is in forced labour
It can be difficult to tell if someone is in a severely exploitative work situation.
People who are enslaved in Australia can be visible to us every day. They may work in a restaurant, on a construction site, in a shop, on a farm. It is important to note that the vast majority of migrant workers in Australia are not in forced labour. However, sometimes you might have the instinct that something is very wrong in a workplace.
When we ask people about their experiences we find that the following questions can help us identify someone who has been trafficked or is enslaved or in forced labour.
- Are you being paid?
- Do you have a debt or contract?
- Can you leave your job if you want to?
- Can you come and go as you please?
- Have you or your family been threatened?
- What are your working and living conditions like?
- Where do you sleep and eat?
- Do you have to ask permission to eat/sleep/go to the bathroom?
- Are there locks on your doors/windows so you cannot get out?
- Has your identification or documentation been taken from you?
If someone is a migrant worker and you see them being treated badly by their boss, forced to work excessive hours or in harsh conditions, or it looks like they do not have the choice to leave their workplace, feel free to contact us for some confidential advice about the best way to handle the situation.
Not all people in slavery are migrant workers. In rare cases, Australian citizens or residents may be enslaved in very extreme situations of labour exploitation.
Trafficking for domestic servitude can happen in private homes. Debt bondage, coercion, exploitation, sexual assault, threats of deportation and social isolation may indicate trafficking.
People who are trafficked may be unlawful or hold visas entitling them to work in Australia. Signs of trafficking may include debt bondage, deception, coercion, threat and control.
This 30 second short film is about trafficking into agricultural work and shows how coercion, withholding of passport, non-payment of wages, and threats to report to immigration can be signs of trafficking.