YOU ARE HERE: Home | What We Do | Submissions and Publications

Submissions and Publications

Anti-Slavery Australia advocates for changes to laws and policies that will improve the protection of the rights of people who have been trafficked or enslaved by providing submissions to government and industry inquiries. The Centre also authors publications about how Australia can improve its response to trafficking, drawing upon our ten years of research and experience representing people who have been trafficked into a wide range of exploitative situations.


Publication Author Year Summary Reference
Hidden from View: Slavery in the home Anti-Slavery Australia 2016 This research note uses a recent case of servitude in the UK as the springboard for discussion about Australia’s laws against servitude and slavery, analysing whether the case would have been successfully prosecuted if it had occurred in Australia. It also considers the nature of servitude generally, drawing parallels with domestic violence and considering the policy response that is necessary to combat this often hidden issue.
Visas for Trafficked People: The Australian Response Anti-Slavery Australia 2016 This paper puts forward the recommendations of Anti-Slavery Australia for amendments to the current trafficking visa framework. 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.
The case for an Anti-Slavery and Trafficking Commissioner Anti-Slavery Australia 2016 Anti-Slavery Australia advocates for the appointment of a Commissioner to further strengthen Australia’s commitment to combat human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices. A commissioner could be an independent body that identifies issues within the current policy framework, makes recommendations and maintains a human rights focus.
Establishment of a National Compensation Scheme Anti-Slavery Australia 2016 Anti-Slavery Australia recommends that a national compensation scheme be established to ensure victims of trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices have an effective pathway to compensation. The current State and Territory schemes are inadequate and Australia would be complying with its international treaty obligations by implementing a new national framework. Alternative mechanisms such as an improved Federal Court reparation framework or a targeted national reparation scheme needs to be considered to ensure that victims have a consistent and effective pathway to compensation.
Plan International Australia ‘ Just Married, Just a Child; Child Marriage in the Indo-Pacific Region’ Jennifer Burn and Mark Evenhuis 2014 A detailed report on the many facets of child marriage, from its cause and impact to the necessary steps we must take to end the practice.  There is also specific focus on Australia and the Indo-Pacific region and the role of the Australian government in ending child marriage.
Without Consent: Forced Marriage in Australia Frances Simmons and Jennifer Burn 2013 This article first explores the issues around defining forced marriage before addressing Australia’s response to its obligations under international law.   The article also stresses that Australia needs to go beyond criminalisation and recommends family-law based civil remedies and community support programs to assist those facing, or in, forced marriages. 36 Melbourne University Law Review 3, pp970 - 1008
Reconsideration of visas intended to provide protection and support to people who have experienced human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices Anti-Slavery Australia 2013 This information sheet discusses Australia’s current trafficking visa framework and highlights where gaps exist in the provision of support to victims of human trafficking. Fourth National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery Senior Officials Meeting
Hidden Exploitation: Women in forced labour, marriage and migration. An Evidence Review Anti-Slavery Australia with Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning 2012 This report exposes gaps in knowledge and services relating to the labour of women in Australia.  It explores issues of forced labour, forced migration and marriage and specifically examines their effect on Indigenous women and girls, migrant workers and children.  The report also goes further to examine possible partnerships for improving services and assistance to women in the future.
The Road to Effective Remedies: Pragmatic reasons for treating cases of “sex trafficking” in the Australian sex industry as a form of “labour trafficking” Frances Simmons and Fiona David 2012 Although Australia has taken some steps to incorporate labour protection systems in its anti-trafficking response, improvements can be made.  This article examines how a misinterpretation of what sex trafficking is has isolated victims from access to civil remedies and prevention interventions.  Instead, viewing sex trafficking as a form of labour trafficking will provide victims with greater assistance and stronger support networks. Anti-Trafficking Review, Issue 1, 2012, pp60 - 79
Briefing Paper on Key Human Rights Issues in Australia Anti-Slavery Australia and Human Rights Law Centre 2011 Prepared for the Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, this briefing paper provides an overview on this issue of people trafficking in Australia.  Touching on the main forms of human trafficking, the existing and planned legislative framework and international agreements and support services, the paper concludes with outlining the priorities for reform.
The Criminal Justice Response to Slavery and People Trafficking; Reparation; and Vulnerable Witness Protection Frances Simmons and Jennifer Burn 2011 This submission highlights the shortcomings of the people trafficking offences set out in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).  It also addresses the need for a holistic response to people trafficking, beyond the criminal justice system and law enforcement, which includes a visa framework and compensation scheme for victims.
People-Trafficking in Australia Jennifer Burn 2011 This article summarises the treaty provisions under international laws which address slavery, slavery-like practices and human trafficking and discusses their relevance in the Australian context. Precedent (Sydney, NSW), No. 102, Jan-Feb 2011, pp.16 – 20
Evaluating Australia’s response to all forms of trafficking: Towards rights-centred reform Frances Simmons and Jennifer Burn 2010 In recent years, Australia has expanded its anti-trafficking response to address issues outside the commercial sex industry.  The article recommends that the Australian Government update its legislative framework to address this change and reflect its international obligations to address trafficking, forced labour and slavery-like practices, such as forced marriage. 84 Australian Law Journal 10, pp712 – 730
Strengthening Australia’s Response to Human Trafficking Anti-Slavery Australia 2010 In their report to the Australian Women’s Coalition, the Anti-Slavery Project reviews the development of Australia’s response to human trafficking over the last five years and makes recommendations for the future.
Prioritising Protection – A new visa framework for trafficked people Frances Simmons and Jennifer Burn 2009 This article reviews the new changes to the visa framework for victims of human trafficking, which simplify a once complex and uncertain process, make family reunification easier and strengthen access to government support services. 41 Immigration Review 3
Interception and Off-Shore Processing of Asylum Seekers: The International Law Dimensions Sam Blay, Jennifer Burn and Patrick Keyzer 2007 This article examines the need for international law to develop a response to people trafficking and smuggling of asylum seekers, which balances the need for humanity against the right of the state to protect its borders.  This issue is discussed in relation to the interception of refugees. UTS Law Review, pp7 - 259
Off-Shore Processing of Asylum Seekers: The Search for Legitimate Parameters Sam Blay, Jennifer Burn and Patrick Keyzer 2007 Available for purchase online, this textbook examines the policy known as the “Pacific Solution”, which involved the offshore interception and processing of asylum seekers on their way to Australia. Halstead Press

Ultimo, New South Wales.
Trafficking and Slavery in Australia: An Evaluation of Victim Support Strategies Jennifer Burn and Frances Simmons 2006 This article critically analyses the legal protections and support systems available to victims of trafficking and slavery in Australia against the Government’s international obligations.  It further argues that our current system offers very limited support and must be expanded. 15 Asian and Pacific Migration Journal 4, pp553 - 570
Rewarding Witnesses, Ignoring Victims: An Evaluation of the New Trafficking Visa Framework Jennifer Burn and Frances Simmons 2005 This article outlines and evaluates the new visa framework for victims of slavery and human trafficking in Australia.  It exposes where the new regime falls short of providing fair and necessary victim support and concludes with a number of recommendations for improvement. 24 Immigration Review, pp6 - 13
Combating Human Trafficking: Australia’s Response to Modern Day Slavery Jennifer Burn, Sam Blay and Frances Simmons 2005 Although the Australian Government‘s response to trafficking has improved, this article highlights that it is still imperfect.  Recently introduced legislation strengthened Australia’s capacity to prosecute traffickers and increased access to victim support service, as well as expanding the discussion of trafficking from sexual servitude to forced labour and human trafficking.  However, the article urges for greater action to be taken in areas such as prevention and victim support. 79 Australian Law Journal 9, pp543 - 552


Publication Author Year Summary
Submission to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Anti-Slavery Australia 2016 In this submission, Anti-Slavery Australia makes recommendations to appoint an Anti-Slavery and Trafficking Commissioner, to establish a national compensation scheme and strengthen visa protection systems for victims, to develop civil remedies and better legal protections for those facing forced marriage, to adopt the Productivity Commission’s migrant worker recommendations from the Inquiry Report into The Workplace Relations Framework and to ratify certain international treaties and to strengthen Australia’s response to exploitation in supply chains.
Inquiry into Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers, Offences and Other Measures) Bill 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia 2015 This submission supports the amendments to the Criminal Code Act 1995 dealing with forced marriage. The amendments broaden the consent provisions and increase protections offered by the law for vulnerable people. The amendment to the rebuttable presumption of incapacity of persons under the age of 16 was also welcomed. Anti-Slavery Australia also recommends the jurisdiction of the family court be broadened to permit the making of protective and preventative orders for people over the age of 18 in relation to forced marriage.
Submission on the Statutes Amendment (Child Marriage) Bill 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia made recommendations to further amend the Children’s Protection Act 1993 (SA) and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935. The submission recommends that a child should be under 18 years of age, rather than 16 in the context of forced marriage. This would be consistent with both domestic law and international treaty obligations. Further recommendations include broadening the definition of marriage in the act to include non-legal marriages and broadening the instances in which intervention orders may be granted.
Legislative Assembly Inquiry into the Regulation of Brothels Anti-Slavery Australia 2015 This submission argues that sex trafficking and consensual sex work should not be conflated in policy-making. While sex workers may be vulnerable to exploitation, this should be a reason to safeguard their rights rather than undermining them. Anti-Slavery Australia recommends that a human rights approach remain at the forefront of any measures designed to combat sex trafficking.
Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015 Anti-Slavery Australia 2015 This submission argues the Bill may operate to undermine the protection of trafficked people and hinder Australia’s efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery. The main concerns are that people will not identify themselves as victims if they are faced with having their visa cancelled and that the legislation will operate contrary to international and domestic laws which require us to identify and support victims of trafficking or slavery. The Bill operates to the detriment of victims and needs to provide a more victim-centered approach.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Psychoactive Substance and Other Measures) Bill 2014 Anti-Slavery Australia 2014 This submission supports the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Psychoactive Substance and Other Measures) Bill 2014.  It notes that the legislative changes are consistent with Australia’s obligations under international law.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into Migration Amendment (Regaining Control over Australia’s Protection Obligations) Bill 2013 Anti-Slavery Australia 2014 This submission argues against the repeal of complementary protection provisions under the Migration Act 1958 (Cth).  Complementary protection offered victims of human trafficking the chance of a visa without relying on their participation in the criminal justice procedure.  The legislation proposes that these provisions be replaced with an ‘administrative process’, however Anti-Slavery Australia has grave concerns about the lack of clarity over what this process will involve.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2013 Anti-Slavery Australia 2013 This submission supports the extension of existing vulnerable witness protections available to children, adult victims of slavery, slavery-like practices and human trafficking as well as “special witnesses”.  It further supports the creation of Victim Impact Statements, which take into account psychical, psychological and emotional suffering as well as economic loss.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee Inquiry into Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012 Anti-Slavery Australia 2012 This submission supports the clarification of slavery and sexual servitude offences and the creation of stand-alone offences of forced labour, deceptive recruiting and forced marriage in the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).   The Bill is praised for strengthening Australia’s compliance with international law.  Anti-Slavery Australia also uses this opportunity to reiterate the need for a compensation scheme for victims of trafficking, which is not addressed in the Bill.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry into Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking Anti-Slavery Australia 2012 This submission highlights six areas for further engagement by the Australian government to address the issues of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking in Australia.  These areas include national compensation, support programs, forced marriage and the legislative scheme on slavery.  The final section provides a more general discussion on vulnerable groups and non-legislative strategies for combatting slavery and people trafficking.
Anti-Slavery Australia submission to the NSW Community Relations Commission Inquiry into the Exploitation of Women through Trafficking Anti-Slavery Australia 2012 This submission is a response to the Community Relations Commission Inquiry into people trafficking in Australia and NSW.  Anti-Slavery Australia provides background information about slavery and people trafficking to Australia and addresses the existing legislative provisions at both state and federal levels, their coordination.  It further discusses community outreach programs, forced marriage and the need to develop a compensation scheme. Recommendations are made throughout the submission on how to strengthen the NSW Government’s commitment to end people smuggling in NSW.
Forced and Servile Marriage: Anti-Slavery Project submission in response to the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department Discussion Paper Jennifer Burn and Frances Simmons 2011 Anti-Slavery Australia submits that the Australian Government’s response to forced marriage must be developed in close consultation with the community and must include effective strategies to protect people who have been, or are at risk of being, forcibly married.  The submission recommends that Australia develops a hybrid civil and criminal legislative response to fulfil its obligations under international law.

Contact Us

Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney
Phone: +61-2-9514 9660