Women's Forum Australia commends the introduction of legislation establishing Australia's first federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus. The announcement comes with a commitment of $8 million over four years to support the Commission's foundation and operations.
According to the Australian Federal Police, Australia is a known source and destination for trafficking, and research from the Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that for every victim of trafficking detected, four go undetected.
Slavery is an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls. It is estimated that they make up 71% of all victims in modern slavery, which includes sexual exploitation, forced labour and forced marriage.
Women and girls also make up 99% of all victims forced into sexual servitude.
The decriminalisation, wholly or in part, of prostitution and the sex industry is a contributing factor to human trafficking in Australia, which is used to meet demand.
This needs to be addressed along with any other causational factors that create a demand for human slavery.
The Attorney General's Bill will strengthen the Modern Slavery Act 2018 in supporting victims and survivors of modern slavery, with the Commissioner to support the work being done by the government, businesses, and the community to prevent and respond to modern slavery.
Human slavery is a scourge worldwide, and Women's Forum Australia looks forward to supporting the government's efforts in tackling it in Australia.
Women’s Forum Australia is an independent think tank that undertakes research, education and public policy advocacy on issues affecting women and girls, with a particular focus on addressing behaviours and practices that are harmful and abusive to them. We are a non-partisan, non-religious, tax-deductible charity. We do not receive any government funding and rely solely on donations to make an impact. Support our work today.
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