United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
30 July 2015
Joint media release
Minister for Justice
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Counter Terrorism
The Hon Michael Keenan MP
Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Today marks the United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons—this day is an important opportunity to reflect on the ongoing work of the Australian Government and our non-government partners to combat human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices, including forced marriage.
Minister Keenan said human trafficking and slavery are insidious crimes and grave violations of human rights that affect millions of people around the world, including in Australia.
“Since 2003, the Australian Federal Police has received more than 588 referrals for human trafficking and slavery-related offences, and 273 trafficked people have received assistance under the Australian Government’s Support for Trafficked People Program,” Minister Keenan said.
Minister Cash said the strength of Australia’s response to human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices was recognised this month by the United States annual Trafficking in Persons Report.
Released on 28 July, the report rates Australia as Tier One for the 12th consecutive year, which means we are fully compliant with anti-trafficking standards set by the United States.
“While we have made significant progress, as long as human trafficking and slavery persist there is more work to be done and we are committed to continually refining Australia’s response to these exploitative practices,” Senator Cash said.
Over the last year, the Coalition Government has worked closely with members of the Government’s National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery to:
- introduce reforms to the Human Trafficking Visa Framework to safeguard the privacy of trafficked people and facilitate better targeted government support to social security, education and support services.
- introduce legislation to further strengthen our forced marriage offences.
- hold workshops on forced marriage for frontline officers and service providers in every Australian capital city.
- launch Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-2019.
- develop a comprehensive forced marriage community pack, containing best-practice information resources for community organisations, service providers and people in, or at risk of, a forced marriage.
More information about Australia’s response to human trafficking and slavery is available at www.ag.gov.au/humantrafficking