This fact sheet examines Australia’s legal response to human trafficking and also looks at what we know about human trafficking in Australia.
What is Australia’s legal response to human trafficking?
In 2013 the Australian Government passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013 (Cth) which amended the Criminal Code and introduced new offences of forced labour, forced marriage and organ trafficking, and changed the offence of sexual servitude to ‘servitude’ which includes sexual, non-sexual, commercial and private settings.
What do we know about trafficking in Australia?
Cases of trafficking identified in Australia often do not resemble the stereotypical images of slavery and trafficking. In most cases it is the more subtle forms control such as ‘debt, fear of violence, psychological coercion and control’ that have been central to identifying the existence of slavery.
Instead trafficked people may be effectively controlled through more subtle methods such as:
- Confiscation of travel documents
- Threats of violence
- Fear of being reported to authorities
- Social, cultural and physical isolation.
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