Slavery Offences are set out in Division 270 Subdivision B of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (Criminal Code).


Slavery is defined in s 270.1 of the Criminal Code as:

“the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, including where such a condition results from a debt or contract made by the person.”


Under s 270.3(1) of the Criminal Code it is an offence to intentionally:

  • Reduce a person to slavery; or
  • Possess a slave or exercise over a slave any of the other powers attaching to the right of ownership; or
  • Engage in slave trading; or
  • Enter into any commercial transaction involving a slave; or
  • Exercise control or direction over, or provide finance for any act of slave trading or any commercial transaction involving a slave

This applies regardless of whether the conduct occurs within or outside of Australia. Each offence carries a maximum penalty of 25 years imprisonment.


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