Seeking Freedom is Anti-Slavery Australia’s newest initiative that seeks to ensure the protection, respect and full realisation of children’s rights in the context of modern slavery. Through policy development, collaboration, education and awareness-raising, we aim to increase the identification of children subject to human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices as well as develop a better understanding of, and ability to meet, the needs of child victim-survivors of modern slavery in Australia.

Our Motivation

Globally, it is estimated that one in four victim-survivors of modern slavery are children. Children in situations of modern slavery are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and the trauma they experience can have devastating negative impacts on their overall wellbeing and development.

Currently, there is very little information available on the nature and scope of child trafficking, slavery and other slavery-like practices in Australia. From the information we do have, these practices most often occur through sexual exploitation, exploitative labour, forced marriage and adoption. While prevention measures do exist, stronger child-specific measures are required. The development and adoption of a child rights framework is central to ensuring Australia’s response to combatting modern slavery is both comprehensive and survivor centred.

Our Expected Outcomes

Through collaboration with relevant stakeholders including government agencies, service providers, international and national human rights institutions and civil society organisations, we will deliver on the following outcomes:

  • Child rights framework – designed for use by decision-makers, to guide the implementation of effective policies that protect, respect and fulfil the rights of children in the context of modern slavery.
  • Webinar – the theme of which will be to consider Australia’s response to modern slavery involving children including the positive steps taken, the challenges ahead and the response required to accelerate the pace of progress.
  • Co-developed resources – for frontline workers, providing practical guidance on child-specific standards of best practice in the context of modern slavery.
  • Advocacy campaign – focused on the implementation of critical aspects of the developed framework that require immediate action.

Opportunities to Get Involved

If you have relevant knowledge, experience or expertise in the area of modern slavery, particularly initiatives that relate specifically to children and would like to collaborate with us on the development of a child rights policy framework as well as co-developed resources for frontline workers, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at with your expression of interest, using the subject heading – ‘Seeking Freedom EOI’ – and include a short description outlining your relevant experience or expertise in the area.

For further information on this project, please contact Cassandra Bourke – Project Lead or Jennifer Burn – Director on (02) 9514 9660 and or follow us on social media for regular updates.

Join our Webinar

A key objective of this project is to foster multi-agency collaboration and information sharing across sectors. As such, we are hosting an online webinar on the rights of children in the context of modern slavery that will bring decision-makers, professionals, service providers and civil society organisations together to discuss Australia’s response to children at risk of, or experiencing modern slavery.

We warmly invite you to join us and to share this event with your networks.

Title: Heading in a Rights Direction: Preventing and Protecting Children at Risk of Modern Slavery in Australia
Time: Tuesday, 22 March 2022 at 4:00-5:30pm AEDT
Location: Online via Zoom
Cost: Free

You will have the opportunity to hear from the following global and national leaders in the fields of modern slavery law, child protection and children’s rights:

  • Professor Jennifer Burn – Director, Anti-Slavery Australia
  • Professor Parosha Chandran – International Human Rights Barrister and Professor in Modern Slavery Law, Kings College London
  • Natalie Siegel-Brown – Managing Director, Child Wise
  • Frances Finney PSM – Assistant Secretary of the Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Branch, Australian Border Force
  • Sandeep Dhillon – Human Rights Legal Practice Manager, Anti-Slavery Australia.

Register Here