This is the state of human trafficking in Australia
Human trafficking within Australia is a little different than it is in other countries around the world. While human sex trafficking is a huge issue for many countries, forced labor is a major issue for countries like Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Malaysia and Australia.
According to the Australia Federal Police, while slavery-like practices are a violation of human rights, these practices are extremely prominent within Australia. Men, women and children are trafficked for exploitive purposes such as debt, slavery, and even organ harvesting.
The majority of human trafficking cases in Australia do not fit the usual standard of forced movement and confinement by traffickers, according to the Australian Institute of Criminology. There are no known cases that have been reported involving men, women and children being abducted and brought to Australia by force. There have been cases where some people trafficked in Australia were physically restrained through detention in brothels and safes houses, and the trafficked person was given certain privileges such as access to cell phones.
In most cases, human trafficking in Australia is achieved through threats of violence, debt repayment, isolation and manipulation. Most human trafficking cases detected in Australia have involved the movement of people across international borders with most trafficked persons consenting to the initial movement to work in Australia. Unfortunately, until they arrive in Australia it becomes clear that they were tricked and are being exploited. This is referred to as people smuggling.
Oftentimes, when people are looking for jobs and they have families that they need to provide for, they will take the first job that will employ them and human traffickers exploit this to the best of their ability.
Traffickers make empty promises of the ability to send money to their families, benefits, high wages, housing, etc. They take advantage of these individuals and make it almost impossible for them to leave because they are indebted and most times, these individuals are unable to return home, and have no way of getting in contact with their family.
That is not to say that sex trafficking is not an issue in Australia. According to the Parliament of Australia, although the number of people trafficked in Australia is currently unknown, it is estimated that 300 to 1,000 women are trafficked in Australia annually.
The inquiry found that most of the women trafficked in Australia are recruited from South East Asia and China for the sex industry, and traffickers facilitate the women’s entry to Australia by fraudulent means, including providing visas, false passports and money. The women are then sent to brothels around the country where they are controlled.
According to the Australian Government Department of Human Affairs, an estimated 2.5 million people are currently being exploited through human trafficking. The International Organization for Migration has stated that 800,000 people may be trafficked across international borders annually.
To combat this issue internationally, Australia is actively engaged in ending human trafficking. Australia has ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its supplementary protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking. Australia also participates in international forums such as United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against women and the UNTOC Conference of Parties to better help people understand and prevent human trafficking.
About the Author
Kendra Martin is currently a senior at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, studying mass communications with a minor in applied communications. She is excited to be apart of the Dressember family, learn from everyone involved and to help end the fight against human trafficking. She loves listening to music, writing in her journal, reading multiple books at a time, sunflowers, corny puns and sleeping in.