The Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade was asked to inquire into and report on slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking with a particular focus on:

  • Australia’s efforts to address people trafficking, including through prosecuting offenders and protecting and supporting victims;
  • Ways to encourage effective international action to address all forms of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking; and
  • International best practice to address all forms of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking

Anti-Slavery Australia commends the Australian government for its leadership and commitment in addressing slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking. Anti-Slavery Australia submits that the establishment of the National Roundtable on People Trafficking in 2008 and related meetings ensures regular and meaningful communication, consultation and collaboration. Anti-Slavery Australia recommends the following:

  • Establishment of a national compensation scheme for men, women and children who have experienced slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking;
  • Enhancement of victim support to better protect enslaved and trafficked people;
  • That criminalisation of forced marriage is one part of broader response that includes the establishment of a consultative group, consideration of amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), provision of support to those experiencing forced marriage, and community engagement to ensure that responses are culturally sensitive and appropriate
  • That clear and multilingual information about the Australian legal system, rights and entitlements with referral information to the Fair Work Ombudsman be provided on entry to Australia;
  • That a framework for better communications between the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman be formalised to strengthen current referral processes which may lead to more consistent identification of people who have been criminally exploited in the workplace; and
  • That the development of effective and evaluated community awareness programs be prioritised

Anti-Slavery Australia Submission to the Inquiry into Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking (2012)