AFP Figures Reveal New High
Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) latest figures show reports of human trafficking and modern slavery have increased to the highest ever-reported. In the 2021-22 financial year, the AFP received 294 reports of human trafficking and modern slavery , an increase from 224 in the previous financial year. Of the 294 reports of human trafficking or modern slavery made to the AFP the five most reported crime types were:
- 84 reports of forced marriage,
- 54 reports of sexual servitude and exploitation,
- 42 reports of forced labour,
- 37 reports of exit trafficking in persons,
- 21 reports of trafficking in children
The report was released to mark United Nations’ World Day Against Trafficking in Persons in July. The theme for this year was ‘Use and Abuse of Technology’ and focused on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.
“During the pandemic, many people turned to technology to stay connected with loved ones, for work and for education. Unfortunately, perpetrators of human trafficking have adapted and are increasingly using technology to recruit, threaten and coerce victims for the purpose of exploiting them,” the report said.
“As part of the AFP’s commitment to combatting human trafficking and slavery offences in Australia, the AFP is using technology as a tool to counter these crimes and has developed a training and awareness program, entitled ‘Look-a-Little-Deeper, to help state and territory police and other Commonwealth agencies recognise signs of human trafficking and slavery type offences in the community.”
“This is the first time in Australia’s history where the uptake of a unified training and awareness-raising protocol to combat human trafficking and slavery will be delivered across all frontline agencies and jurisdictions,” said AFP Commander Hilda Sirec.
ACRATH was involved in the early development of the ‘Look-a-Little-Deeper resources. ACRATH also released a resource to mark the UN declared World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The 70-second video clip is another collaboration between ACRATH Companion Liz Payne, her brother Matt James and ACRATH supporter Marilynn Ross. The video, now available for download on the ACRATH website is a wonderful resource with accurate up-to-date information and statistics. The video offers important information and referral points. ACRATH invites you to watch this free video and share what you learn. Or consider using it as a resource in your community. Teachers could also use the video to start a conversation about human trafficking.
A list of signs to identify potential human trafficking and slavery in Australia are available on the AFP website: https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/crime-types/human-trafficking