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Human trafficking in Australia

A lowdown on human trafficking in Australia: 'Human Trafficking - Frequently Asked Questions'

Monday February 2, 2015

Human trafficking by its nature is a largely hidden crime in Australia

What do you do if you suspect someone has been trafficked? Where can trafficked people get help? Is human trafficking the same as people smuggling?  

Red Cross' publication 'Human Trafficking - Frequently Asked Questions' aims to answer all these questions and more. It is a resource for both the public and community organisations who want to know more about human trafficking and slavery in Australia.  

'Human trafficking happens in Australia, we are not immune to this global issue. It's a serious human rights violation and a crime in Australia,' says Australian Red Cross' Trafficking Program Coordinator Ann Clark.  

People from 136 different countries were trafficked into 118 different countries - including to Australia - between 2007 and 2010, according to the United Nation's Office on Drugs and Crime.  

However, the nature of trafficking means that it is a largely hidden crime. Those who have been trafficked are often afraid to come forward, fearing, among other things,  for their and their family's safety among and from retaliation from their exploiters.  

Red Cross has provided support to more than 170 women and men - from diverse cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds - who have been trafficked to Australia. We provide support under the government-funded Support for Trafficked People program which we have run since 2009.  

We help those who have been trafficked, and are referred to us by the Australian Federal Police, with their health and welfare needs, and to re-establish their lives.  

Find out more about what trafficking is and isn't, what are the signs, where people can go for help, and what you can do if you suspect someone has been trafficked, check out our FAQs.

'We hope this publication will be a community resource which can help people understand more about human trafficking in Australia. We hope they will come away knowing a bit about how to recognize trafficking warning signs, and have some of the know how  to deal with a suspected trafficking situation,' says Ms Clark. 'It is a starting point, a launch pad, for those wanting to know more and it is packed with links to other resources and support.'