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Recent Submissions by Anti-Slavery Australia

Anti-Slavery Australia has recently made three submissions. These submissions are summarised below, you can also read the full submissions by clicking on the links at the end of each summary.

 

Summary of Submissions

 

1.  Inquiry into Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking

Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

9 October 2012

 

Five main points were made in this submission.

1. A national compensation scheme is proposed which will meet Australia’s obligations, addresses international criticism and endorses the call of many government and community bodies over the past decade for its establishment.

2. The development of rights-centred and victim-based approach using community involvement, further research and awareness raising. This will involve all-round research in the area of trafficking and slavery, particularly in the area of forced marriage and forced labour.

3. Forced marriage requires more than just criminal legislation. Working with communities including young people, to develop sound and effective community education is essential to preventing forced marriage and offering protection to those who experience forced marriage.

4. We recommend coordination between state and federal authorities to ensure that people who experience slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking are identified and then provided with effective and continuing support.

5. Migrant workers and forced labour in the supply chain need more directed strategies and community awareness-raising. Exploitation in the work place is covered in industrial and criminal law but should also be linked through legislation and cooperation between federal and state law enforcement agencies dealing with offences of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking.

You can read the full submission click here 

 

2. Inquiry into the Exploitation of Women through Trafficking

The Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW

24 October 2012

 

Key points of the submission are:

 

1. Training NSW police and government agencies is essential to the identification of victims of trafficking and slavery and articulating available support services and identifying gaps in the system.

 

2. Section IV  We recommended that Australia consider establishing a national compensation scheme for victims of trafficking and related offences and that the emerging issue of forced marriage be addressed through a range of legislative and non-legislative measures 

 

3. Section V We call for the development of comprehensive training for state and local police officers and the need for better coordination between all levels of government. A formalised framework for coordination between state, territory and Federal organisations and agencies is needed. The Special Rapporteur noted that the establishment of a comprehensive federal compensation scheme was an overarching recommendation of the public consultation, one that was echoed at the National Roundtable on People Trafficking. If implemented, this recommendation would be in accordance with the obligations of Australia with respect to remedies under the Trafficking Protocol and international human rights law.

 

4. Strengthen criminal justice capacity to identify and confiscate assets and proceeds of trafficking-related crimes, and develop mechanisms and procedures to enable assets and proceeds to be used for continuing support to victims of trafficking.

 

5. Emphasis is also placed on restitution, recovery, rehabilitation and compensation.

 

6. Section VI This section outlines the critical importance of community awareness and outreach, and the practical measures that can be implemented in New South Wales. 4 Models for the proposed Federal victim’s compensations scheme have been laid out in the submission to establish a national compensation scheme for victims of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking. (page 30) 

 

7. Section VII addresses the Commonwealth’s legislative response to the emerging issue of forced marriage and the need for the development of a focussed strategy within New South Wales to respond to the issue.

 

8. Section VIII discusses the need for clarity and better access to victims’ compensation for victims of slavery, exploitation and trafficking.

You can read the full submission here 

 

3. Crimes Legislation Amendment

(Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012

Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

5 September 2012

 

1. Recommendations are made in relation to the current visa framework. These include adding a ’reflection and recovery’ period for suspected victims of trafficking in order to comply with Australia’s obligations under Article 7 of the TraffickingThe current 45 day period covered by the Bridging Visa F, which can be offered to suspected victims of trafficking by the police which will give them access to the Victim Support Program run by the Red Cross. We agree with the Special Rapporteur as she notes in her report on trafficking in persons that there is empirical evidence to suggest that a ‘reflection and recovery’ period should be a minimum of 90 days to ensure recovery of victims to a level where they may thoughtfully make these decisions, and provide more reliable information to police investigations.

2. Once the Bridging Visa F has expired, a person may be granted a Criminal Justice Stay Visa (CJSV) if they will contribute to a prosecution or investigation. The person will be allowed to stay in Australia and have continued access to the Support for Trafficked Victims program run by the Red Cross.

Our experience with the operation of the CJSV has shown that trafficking investigations can be complex and protracted. Victims face uncertainty for the future and are not given a guarantee that they will receive further visa protection after the prosecution is completed. There is also no mechanism in the CJSV so that the visa holder can be reunited with his or her family in Australia. Currently, permanent visas (WPTPV) are issued to victims within 3 months of a decision to prosecute or not prosecute. We recommend the consideration that a permanent visa is issued earlier than current practice, within 6 months of the grant of a CJSV. 

3. We recommend the consideration of a grant of a permanent visa in compassionate circumstances, where victims of trafficking are unable to participate in a criminal investigation. 

4. We recommend the Bill be passed.

You can read the full submission here 

 

 

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Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney
Email: antislavery@uts.edu.au
Phone: +61-2-9514 9662  

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