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Trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices

Australian Mission - UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children

The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, conducted a mission to Australia from 17 to 30 November 2011.[18] The Special Rapporteur met with representatives of federal, state and territory governments and departments, non-government organisations and other stakeholders in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The Australian Human Rights Commission co-hosted with Australian NGOs two forums for the Special Rapporteur during her visit. The Special Rapporteur’s report on her Australian mission was tabled at the 20th session of the Human Rights Council on 23 June 2012. The Commission presented a statement at the Human Rights Council’s 20th Session welcoming the Special Rapporteur’s report.

Amendments to the Criminal Code Act (2005) (Cth)

In 2013 the Commonwealth Criminal Code was amended (Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013)[19] to ensure Australia continues to fulfil its international obligations to criminalise people trafficking and related crimes. The amendments incorporated offences of forced labour, forced marriage, organ trafficking and harbouring a victim. It also clarified and extended the scope of slavery offences; extended the application of existing offences of deceptive recruiting to situations of non-sexual servitude; increased penalties for debt bondage offences; and amended existing definitions to ensure the broadest range of exploitative conduct is criminalised.

Further amendments were made to the Commonwealth Criminal Code (Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Act 2013), which provided additional protection to victims of trafficking and slavery who act as witnesses before the court.

In 2013, the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade also reported on its inquiry into modern slavery in Australia, Trading Lives: Modern Day Human Trafficking.[20]

Guidelines for NGOs working with trafficked people

The Commission was a member of the Working Group of the National Roundtable on People Trafficking to assist Non-Government Organisations working with trafficked people which produced the'Guidelines for NGOs working with trafficked people' in 2009.

These guidelines were updated in 2010 to take into account important changes to the Support for Victims of People Trafficking Program and the People Trafficking Visa Framework. The second edition of the Guidelines has been translated into six relevant community languages. The Guidelines are available from the Attorney-General’s Department website at: http://www.ag.gov.au/CrimeAndCorruption/HumanTrafficking/Pages/Humantraffickingguidelinesandfactsheets.aspx.

For more information on addressing human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices see:

 


[18] See Australian human Rights Commission, Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children, Australian Mission (2011). At http://www.humanrights.gov.au/human-rights-approach-trafficking-persons-2011 (viewed 7 October 2014).
[19] See Australian Human Rights Commission, Submission to the Attorney General’s Department on Exposure Draft Bill Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery Like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012 (2012) At: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/legal/submissions/2012/20120120_trafficking.pdf (viewed 7 October 2014).
[20] See Australian Human Rights Commission, Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Human Rights Sub-Committee Inquiry Slavery, and Slavery-like conditions and People Trafficking, (2012) At: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/sites/default/files/20121005_slavery_0.pdf (viewed 7 October 2014).