The Morrison Government continues to focus on the protection of women and children from people smugglers and human traffickers, with World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2021 marking another successful year of combatting this despicable crime.
Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said Australia would continue to bring charges against people smugglers and human traffickers, working to end the appalling trade.
“Silence empowers human traffickers and people smugglers. This World Day Against Trafficking in Persons I want victims to speak up and speak out against this horrible crime,” Minister Andrews said.
“Sadly, young women and children are the most vulnerable to being trafficked – but help is available, and the Australian Federal Police have had several notable successes freeing victims and bringing offenders to justice.
“Today, my message is simple: raise your voice on this important issue, educate yourself and others about this serious crime and the impact it has on victims, and ask for help if you need it.”
In March this year, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) obtained restraining orders over two properties in Sydney worth more than $3.8 million, where a female Indonesian national had been held against her will and subjected to forced labour for nearly six years.
This year has also seen Australia’s first conviction for an exit human trafficking offence, with a 29- year-old NSW man sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment for forcing a woman and her child to travel to India.
Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety, and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood said Australia is committed to a future where no one is subjected to modern slavery and the human rights of all people are valued equally.
“In December 2020, I launched the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-25, which is guided by the principle that the voices of victims and survivors, particularly women and children, inform our response to modern slavery,” Assistant Minister Wood said.
“Under the National Action Plan, we work to actively prevent and combat all forms of modern slavery, wherever it occurs, including by supporting, protecting and empowering victims and survivors.
“Help is available for any person experiencing, or at risk of, modern slavery. If you have immediate concerns for your safety, the safety of another person, or there is an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000).
You can also contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237 (131 AFP) or go to the AFP website at afp.gov.au for help. The AFP can keep you safe, provide advice and refer you to other services that provide accommodation, financial support, counselling and legal and immigration advice.