16 July 2010

New campaign to open Australia’s eyes to immigration slavery

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A new anti-slavery campaign aims to raise awareness that while human trafficking in Australia is usually associated with the sex industry, more and more people are being brought into Australia under the guise of marriage and forced to work.

Jennifer Burn, the project's director, says most people in Australia are unaware of trafficking and slavery in the nation. She said the campaign hopes to raise awareness in the general community and also awareness in those who are likely to come into contact with trafficked people.

Ms Burn said signs to be aware of include when a person doesn't have custody over their identity documents or their passport, when they came to Australia to do one thing but they found themselves doing something else, or if they were deceived about the conditions of work in Australia.

Ms Burn said often people are trafficked into Australia through a partner visa, such as a Marriage Visa, and then effectively enslaved in Australia in awful working conditions.

 Between 2004 and 2009 the Australian Federal Police conducted 270 investigations into allegations of human trafficking.

Men, women and children can be trafficked to work in range of areas including retail, in agriculture, as domestic workers, in hospitality and even healthcare.

The anti-slavery campaign has been funded by the Federal Government Attorney General's department.

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