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Human Trafficking and Slavery

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Religious items produced by child slaves

Posted in August 23rd, 2009

The Catholic Leader
Paul Dobbyn
August 23, 2009

CATHOLICS need to look carefully at the origins of religious items they buy to ensure they are not the products of child slave labour, a Brisbane religious sister has warned.

The seriousness of the issue has led the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) to pledge its support for a Christian Goods Standard to end worker exploitation in the production of Christian merchandise which also includes T-shirts and Bible covers.

The Just Holy Hardware campaign has also been launched and includes a website to list fairly traded Christian items. read more..

Australian Government – Fair Work Ombudsman
August 2, 2009

The national pay protector has launched a prosecution against a Western Australian construction company for allegedly paying workers recruited from China less than $3 an hour.

The Fair Work Ombudsman says the case is one of the most serious underpayment matters it has investigated. read more..

Human egg trade exploits women

Posted in July 31st, 2009
Kevin McGovern
July 31, 2009

The call by law professor Loane Skene (writing in The Age on 13 July) for women to sell their eggs for embryonic stem cell research ignores the medical evidence of the real harm done to women who allow their eggs to be harvested, and international evidence that the legalisation of the sale of eggs leads to exploitation of women.

Harvesting eggs is a complicated process. There are drugs to stop the menstrual cycle, daily hormone injections for up to six weeks to stimulate the development of multiple eggs, frequent blood tests to check when the eggs are ready, a general anaesthetic and surgery to retrieve the eggs using a needle inserted into the ovaries.

Because of the powerful drugs, one of the main dangers for the woman is Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), which has mild, moderate and severe forms and which affects up to ten per cent of women. read more..

Foreign students ‘slave trade’

Posted in July 15th, 2009

The Age
Nick O’Malley, Heath Gilmore and Erik Jensen
July 15, 2009

Thousands of overseas students are being made to work for nothing ? or even pay to work ? by businesses exploiting loopholes in immigration and education laws in what experts describe as a system of economic slavery.

The vast pool of unpaid labour was created in 2005 when vocational students were required to do 900 hours work experience. There was no requirement that they be paid.

Overseas students remained bound to the system as completion of such courses became a near-guaranteed pathway to permanent residency in Australia. read more..

The Age
Carol Nader
June 17, 2009

Victims of sex trafficking will find it easier to obtain Australian visas under changes soon to be made by the Federal Government.

Currently, victims of sex trafficking who are brought to Australia but do not have a valid visa can get a temporary visa only if they are willing to help police in their case in prosecuting traffickers.

Those who do not help police face removal from the country unless they have another visa entitling them to stay in Australia. But the change will allow women to be granted a temporary visa for up to 45 days even if they do not cooperate with police.

They will also be entitled to support services to help them with legal advice, counselling and accommodation. read more..

Baby-trafficking horror exposed

Posted in May 24th, 2009

The Sydney Morning Herald
Mark Russell
May 24, 2009

CHILD-TRAFFICKING gangs were moving pregnant women from country to country, then waiting for them to give birth before selling their babies, Australia’s chief federal magistrate said yesterday.

John Pascoe said the infants were being sold mainly for illegal adoption but also for sexual exploitation, slavery and begging.

He said demand for babies who only knew their adoptive parents was high. “More importantly, the children have no official identity or proven nationality and, therefore, an identity can be easily forged to suit the purpose for which they are intended,” Mr Pascoe said in Singapore, addressing a conference on the trafficking in unborn children.

Prostitutes likened to AFL draftees in trial

Posted in April 24th, 2009

The Age
Kate Hagan
April 24, 2009

A BARRISTER acting for a man accused of bringing five Thai women to Melbourne as sex slaves has compared their plight to an AFL footballer being drafted to another club.

Len Hartnett told a Supreme Court jury yesterday it would need to consider whether the women had been treated as “commodities”, as prosecutors claimed.

“The coach walks into the training room … at the Brisbane ground, the Gabba, and says to a 19-year-old, who was drafted two years ago from Melbourne: ‘Son, next year you won’t be here, you’ll be playing for Fremantle.’ Well, what is he? A commodity? That’s one way of expressing it,” he said. read more..

Herald Sun
Shelley Hadfield
April 23, 2009

A THAI woman who claims to have been caught up in a sex slave scheme sent $32,000 to Thailand while under a contract in Melbourne, a court has heard.

Prosecutor Daniel Gurvich told the Supreme Court earlier this week that five women came to Australia under contracts to service 650 to 750 men to repay a debt for their passage to Melbourne and the opportunity to earn money. read more..

Inside Melbourne’s sex slave trade

Posted in March 12th, 2009

Prison Planet Forum
Maris Beck
March 12, 2009

THE boss would kick her awake. Every time she opened her eyes, the nightmare began again. There was no escape from the men – their hair, their sweat, their predatory breath. Many were using amphetamines. They hit her. Sometimes one would hold a a gun to her head. But there was no choice, she says. She was owned by the mob.

“I was so scared of them.Even now I am still scared.” Once, the boss took her for a drive into the bush. “She told me ‘a girl like you, I can bury anywhere here.’ If something happened to me . . . nobody would know.”

For seven months, she was locked in a brothel, seeing 15 men a day, in around the clock shifts. As she speaks tears stream down her cheeeks and her breath shudders. More than five years later, the memories still haunt her. “It was like in prison,” she says. read more..

The Courier-Mail
Tristan Swanwick
December 22, 2008

A GOLD Coast hairdresser who forced two Thai women into sexual slavery to pay off debts to violent loan sharks has been jailed for five years.

Keith William Dobie, 48, was the first person in Australia charged with people trafficking under new laws brought in two years ago to clamp down on international sex slavery.

The former hairdresser yesterday pleaded guilty in the Brisbane District Court to two counts of people trafficking, one count of handling proceeds of crime, and four counts of presenting false documents.

Dobie lured the women to Australia to work as prostitutes with promises of easy money and generous working conditions, but turned into an abusive and demanding pimp after they arrived, the court was told. read more..

C 2011 ACRATH Inc – Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans