Covid-19 and Modern Slavery
Covid-19 has impacted the lives of many people especially those who are vulnerable. Research conducted by Dr. Nerida Chazal,
University of South Australia, and Ms Kyla Raby, Australian Red Cross, has shone a light on the The Impact of Covid-19 on the Identification of Victims of Modern Slavery and their Access to Support Services in Australia. Their findings are reported in an article in the Journals of Modern Slavery, Volume 6, Issue 2. The research used data from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Red Cross to trace the impact of COVID-19 on the identification of victims and their access to the Support for Trafficked People Program (STPP) during April to June 2020. In addition interviews were conducted with service providers and NGOs working in the anti-human trafficking and modern slavery space including ACRATH.
The research concluded that the widely acknowledged barriers that prevent victims from accessing support services were exacerbated during the pandemic. Problems associated with the reliance on a single policing agency, the AFP, to identify victims and refer them to the STPP were accentuated as the Covid-19 emergency response diverted policing and other government resources elsewhere. Consequently some victims remained unsupported or remained unidentified.