Australian Senate Passes Slavery Bill

Parliament House Canberra

Forced Labour, Forced Marriage and Organ Trafficking Now Criminal Offences

ACRATH has received with great joy the news that the Australian Senate today passed the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012.  ACRATH took part in the consultations that led to the drafting of this Bill and along with other NGOS such as Anti-Slavery Australia, Project Respect, Salvation Army and Stop the Traffik,  has been advocating for legislative changes so that perpetrators can be prosecuted and victims protected.

The new legislation includes offences such as forced labour, forced marriage, organ trafficking and harbouring a person.  In passing this legislation the Australian Government is making a strong statement that these behaviours are not acceptable in Australia.  In his media release following the passage of the Bill through the Senate Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus QC, commented “The new offences reflect the Government’s commitment to ensuring Australia fulfils its legislative obligations under the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.”  ACRATH commends the Australian Government on taking this step.

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