New Funding Announced to Fight Slavery and Trafficking
19 October 2011 at 11:28 am
The Gillard Government says it is stepping up the fight against labour trafficking – granting more than $485,000 to combat slavery and human trafficking in Australia.
Minister for Justice Brendan O’Connor said that while people trafficking is not common in Australia, “Australian authorities are now identifying an increasing number of trafficking victims in industries other than the sex industry.”
Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis said the non-government sector was instrumental in raising awareness of human trafficking, identifying cases and providing support to victims.
Ellis said “That’s why we are continuing to dedicate funding, resources and time to working with non-government organisations to address this crime.”
The $485,000 will be shared between 5 organisations that work on projects which target employers and workers to raise awareness of labour exploitation, and to reach out to migrant workers vulnerable to these crimes.
The funding will go to:
- Australian Red Cross, to identify and combat labour trafficking among Indian 457 visa holders in NSW and Victoria, including producing an information flyer in the major Indian languages for 457 visa applicants
- Asian Women at Work, to work with migrant women in low-paid and precarious employment across Sydney, including in clothing outwork, factories, cleaning, nail and beauty salons, restaurants, aged care and child care
- Australian Hotels Association, to distribute an information brochure to 5,000 hotels nationally on how to legally employ overseas workers and an online seminar on strategies to discourage exploitation
- Australian Council of Trade Unions, for its Labour trafficking is a crime – spot it, report it campaign targeting the hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing, construction, mining and domestic work industries
- Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Construction Division), to produce multi-lingual pamphlets targeting the building sector.
The Government has more than doubled is original allocation of $200,000, which was allocated from the Proceeds of Crime Act.
There have been more than 300 Australian Federal Police investigations into allegations of trafficking-related offences since 2004, with 14 convictions – the most recent conviction was on 6 October, 2011.
Sex trafficking in Australia has recently been under the spotlight in Australia with the ABC’s Four Corners program alleging it is a major problem is some of Australia’s brothels.