Who We Are
Australian leaders in the anti-slavery movement.
We are the only specialist legal practice, research and policy centre committed to the abolition of modern slavery in Australia.
Our Vision, Mission and Values
We are dedicated to the abolition of modern slavery, including human trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage
We protect the human rights of trafficked and enslaved people through research, policy development, law reform, professional practice, education and advocacy
Our core values – integrity, ethical engagement, excellence, accountability, professionalism and respect for human rights – drive everything we do
Our story started in 2003 when Jennifer Burn, an Australian academic, solicitor and migration agent working with a team of law students at the UTS Community Law Centre to research and understand the Australian dimension of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol was contacted by women trafficked to Australia. Through her work representing these women, Jennifer saw the need not only to support survivors of human trafficking, but also importantly to advocate for law reform.
Since then we have provided free legal advice and representation to victims of modern slavery in Australia, initially as part of the Anti-Slavery Project. Over time our work expanded to include research, advocacy and training programs.
In 2011 the Anti-Slavery Project became Anti-Slavery Australia, a centre based at the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney.
From our inception, we have focused on delivering high-quality, free legal representation for victims of modern slavery.
Our Founding Director, Professor Jennifer Burn has over 17 years of research and practice experience in human trafficking, slavery and forced marriage. She was appointed as the Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner for NSW by the NSW Government in 2019.
Our team includes lawyers, researchers and trainers. We are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people through legal representation, awareness raising and advocacy.
Our work is supported by a strong team of volunteers and legal placement students.
Professor Jennifer Burn
Lawyer and Project Manager
Researcher and Trainer
Dr Yvette Selim
Interim Deputy Director
“Slavery steals humanity and has no place in our world”.
If you’re interested in becoming a corporate partner, please contact us.
Since 2003 we have provided free and confidential legal advice to over 500 clients
Major increase in clients over 3 years
Our current clients come from over 40 countries and speak 23 different languages
Since 2003 we have secured over $1.5 million in victims’ compensation
Our work has resulted in visa protection for hundreds of clients
Ending Forced Marriage: My Blue Sky
- 100,000 web-page views from 140 countries
- 26,000 users with a 15% increase between 2018-2019
Research and Advocacy
- Formative submissions to Commonwealth, State and foreign governments
- More than 90% of ASA’s recommendations adopted in the Inquiry into a Modern Slavery Act in Australia
- Co-convening the Trafficking Response Network and the NSW Forced Marriage Network
- Unique, independent reports, such as Behind the Screen: Online Child Exploitation in Australia (2017)
- Prof Jennifer Burn appointed to the inaugural Australian Government National Roundtable on Human Trafficking in 2008 and continues to serve
Education and Training
- Modern slavery awareness training to hundreds of community workers across NSW, QLD and NT in 2018-2019
- Designed Australia’s first elearning course on modern slavery, with more than 60,000 online lessons completed since 2014
- 90% of surveyed users would recommend Modern Slavery in Australia
- Training for diverse audiences including lawyers, procurement specialists, community workers, law enforcement and airline crew.
Anti-Slavery Australia hosts the biennial Freedom Awards – the only prize in Australia which recognises the outstanding contributions of individuals, organisations and businesses to combat modern slavery and make a positive impact on the lives of trafficked and enslaved people.
The Freedom Awards celebrate diverse anti-slavery initiatives and highlight the achievements and work being done across the community to combat modern slavery.
2020 – Jennifer Burn
Outstanding Migration Lawyer of the Year Award, Law Council of Australia
2019 - Jo Pugsley
Law Finalist for Australian Human Rights Award
2019 - Jo Pugsley
Freedom Awards – Anti-Slavery Award
2018 - Jo Pugsley
UTS Human Rights Award – Jo Wilton Memorial Award for Women
2017 - Jennifer Burn
Mercy Foundation – Cath Leary Social Justice Award
2016 - Jennifer Burn
UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Research) Medal for Research Impact
2015 - Jennifer Burn
recognised as a human rights advocate in the ‘Positively Remarkable People’ photographic exhibition by photographer Diane Macdonald
2015 - Ruth McLelland
Vice Chancellor’s Career and Professional Development Awards for High Performing Professional Staff
2014 - Anti-Slavery Australia
UTS Human Rights Award (Elizabeth Hastings Memorial Award for student contribution) to Anti-Slavery Australia Youth Advocates
2013 - Jennifer Burn
Law and Justice Foundation Pro Bono Partnership Award together with partner law firm Clayton Utz
2011 - Jennifer Burn
Zonta International District 24’s Honorary Member in recognition of personal work and achievements in the field of human trafficking, advocacy and legal reform contributing to the advancement of the status of women
2009 - Jennifer Burn
Henry Giblett Award from the Migration Institute of Australia for outstanding contribution in the area of migration law education
2005 - Jennifer Burn
Law and Justice Foundation Justice Award for Community Legal Centres for anti-trafficking advocacy and research work