Australia is a destination country for trafficked persons. These persons are seeking to migrate to improve their lives and the socio-economic status of their families. As Australia opens up to free trade markets with weakened worker protections in their home countries, the demand for cheap labour, products and services will continue to intensify. This will contribute to an environment where slavery, slavery-like practices, human trafficking, debt bondage and exploitation in many industries can flourish.
Since 1999, the Australian government has strengthened law enforcement tools to investigate and prosecute these cromes. However, much remains to be done to address root causes, engage community and empower victims in their quest for social justice. An effective approach to eliminating slavery in all of its forms places the needs, experiences and human rights of vulnerable workers at the centre of its approach. Until then, slaveholders and human traffickers will continue to operate with impunity.
Some of the contributing factors worldwide are increasing poverty, the impact of globalisation on developing countries, decreasing workers’ rights, demand for exploitable labour in wealthy countries, lack of legal immigration opportunities, natural disaster, war, government corruption and the lack of an effective response to these human rights violations. It is expected that trafficking in persons will increase in times of economic recession.
For up to date and accurate information about trafficking in Australia check the following web sites: