The paper sets out the current scheme, which was amended in 2015 to reduce stigma towards trafficked and enslaved people and to facilitate better support. ASA recognises the value of these improvements, but recommends further change.
Currently, in order to receive a permanent visa, a trafficked person is required to cooperate in investigations by providing evidence or making some other kind of contribution.
Anti-Slavery Australia recommends that there should be a ‘compassionate circumstances’ exception to this, so that a person may be granted a visa even when they are unable to contribute to a criminal investigation (because of mental difficulties, continuing trauma or fear of retribution, for example). A victim of trafficking is also required to be “in danger” if returned to his or her home country.
Anti-Slavery Australia supports broader and clearer eligibility criteria, since “danger” is unduly narrow and not well-defined.
The recommended amendments will help to strengthen the Australian framework for supporting survivors of trafficking and slavery.
Read the full policy paper here: Visas for Trafficked People: The Australian Response