Topic

human trafficking

14 petitions

Started 9 months ago

Petition to Australian Human Rights Commission, Attorney-General George Henry Brandis, Australian federal government, Australian Parliament

Reduce Human Trafficking within Australia with Improved Laws in the States and Territory

Human trafficking is a problem. This is something we all, hopefully, can agree on. This isn't something I have personally experienced. But, it is something I want to see change in my lifetime. To be honest, I am not even an adult yet, far from it, in fact. I am only in my early teen years, but I want to see something to change with this issue. This is a huge issue in our world, for our people. It not only affects the people who have to go through the entire terrifying ordeal, but it affects every single person on Planet Earth. At 79% of identified trafficking victims, sex trafficking is particularly a harsh problem. This being understood, it is not surprising that the UN also reports that women are disproportionately victims of human trafficking (two-thirds being female) and a large majority of traffickers and exploiters are male. The view of women as a whole internationally is negatively impacted by this harsh reality. Young men are being negatively influenced by easy access to internet pornography and prostitution. The access of human trafficking makes it much harder to condemn and makes it much easier to exploit individuals. This issue is a big issue. It is conservatively estimated by the International Labour Organization that there are 21 million people enslaved in the world today. Furthermore, it is estimated that human trafficking internationally generates 32 billion dollars a year. That is 32 billion dollars being illicitly traded in the world with no taxes each year (over 15 million coming from industrialized countries). With this many people being exploited and this much money being illegally used, of course this issue affects us all. I am Indian of origin, living in Australia. Human trafficking is an issue that is rising rapidly in Australia. I had seen many breaking news's about human trafficking in Indian News Channels such as NDTV and Times Now, but no such things were spoken about on Australian News Channels. I was curious why this wasn't happening. Of course, it could be the difference of cultures, or what is more widely known as a crime in each respective country. After some research, I found this report on the website of the Australian Institute of Criminology. The worst case in Australia has been of 2015, with a record of 93 cases being investigated by federal police. Though only 93 cases were investigated, a normal amount of human trafficking that occurs in Australia is between 300 and 1000. Of many offenders, possibly tens to hundreds, only 15 were arrested and convicted of their sinful crimes. Australia is also one of the top 21 destinations for human trafficking. A central element of Australia’s response to human trafficking is identifying and prosecuting offenders for crimes of human trafficking, slavery and slave-like practices. These crimes all involve extreme forms of exploitation and are often described as akin to a ‘modern form of slavery’ (UNODC 2009: 6). While laws prohibiting slavery have a long history internationally (Gallagher 2010), it was the entry into force of the Trafficking Protocol in 2003 that led many countries, including Australia, to introduce new laws to criminalise human trafficking, slavery and slave-like practices. Under the Trafficking Protocol, adult men and women are trafficked if they are recruited, moved, harboured or received through the use of threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception or abuse of power, or because of a position of vulnerability, for the purpose of exploitation. In this context, exploitation includes forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery and servitude. In the case of a child, trafficking requires only two elements—the action and the purpose of exploitation. While the crimes of slavery, servitude, forced labour and trafficking in persons differ in their precise legal elements (Gallagher 2010), they all aim to prohibit exploitative conduct that deprives the victim of basic rights and freedoms. In this paper, the term ‘human trafficking and slavery crimes’ should be understood to refer to a range of offences contained in divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (the Criminal Code). Australia’s response to human trafficking, slavery and slave-like practices has evolved over the past decade. Since the introduction of human trafficking and slavery offences into Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code, the practical experience of investigating and prosecuting human trafficking and slavery in Australia has confirmed that, contrary to popular stereotypes, human trafficking is not a problem unique to the sex industry and occurs in a diverse range of settings (APTIDC 2012). The recently enacted Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013 expands the existing range of offences against slavery and human trafficking by establishing new offences of forced labour, forced marriage, organ trafficking and harbouring a victim. It also extends the application of existing offences of deceptive recruiting and sexual servitude so they also apply to forms of servitude and deceptive recruiting outside the sex industry. The offenders considered in this paper are those convicted of slavery, sexual servitude and human trafficking offences under Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code. There are complementary state/territory offences, for example, sexual servitude. However, monitoring of convictions for crimes related to human trafficking under state/territory legislation is not well established or comprehensive and is an area that is under consideration as part of the Australian Institute of Criminology’s (AIC) human trafficking monitoring program at the time of writing. Therefore, the paper only considers the 15 offenders convicted of human trafficking, slavery and sexual servitude under the Criminal Code. This means that we need stronger, more established laws for human trafficking within the Australian states. If we don't, this will soon get out of hand. So please... Help me save more of these innocent lives. They need all the help they can get.

Nityasree Chintaginjala
42 supporters