Review of Modern Slavery Offences

Findings Report

ACRATH welcomes the Attorney General’s Department release of the Findings Report for the Targeted Review of Modern Slavery Offences in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). This review was undertaken in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution.

The Targeted Review identifies areas for possible legislative change to strengthen Australia’s modern
slavery offences in line with international good practice, to better reflect growing understanding about
what modern slavery looks like and how it takes place in the Australian context, and to further
future-proof Australia’s offences so they remain flexible to apply to new and emerging forms of modern
slavery. The Review also revealed a common thread in stakeholder feedback urging holistic consideration of the experience of victims and survivors, including avenues to seek assistance and report crimes, support through the criminal justice process, and compensation.

ACRATH supports the need for a National Compensation Scheme for victim/survivors of modern slavery offences. The Findings report noted:

“Stakeholders raised compensation for victims and survivors of modern slavery in submissions and
consultations, reasoning that a Commonwealth compensation scheme would assist with embedding a
victim and survivor-centered approach in Australia’s modern slavery framework……There are also gaps and inconsistencies in the application of state and territory victims of crime compensation schemes to Commonwealth modern slavery crimes. These schemes differ in eligibility criteria, categories of harm and levels of compensation.” (pages 9-10)

Australian legislation regarding human trafficking and modern slavery has not been significantly altered since 2013. Domestic and International understandings in this area have continued to evolve. trong legislation can act as a deterrent and support just outcomes for victim/survivors. It is therefore essential that legislation be brought up to date and that there be guidance and training to support the implementation.

For more information dowload a copy of Findings Report: Targeted Review of Modern Slavery Offences in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) here.