If someone is experiencing exploitation at work in Australia, also known as labour exploitation, help is available. There are services that can provide people at risk with free advice and confidential information on any workplace issue, anywhere in Australia. These services provide help and support to migrants, refugees, people seeking asylum, people on temporary visas and people without a visa who may be experiencing exploitation at work.
There are also services that provide specialised support to people who have experienced modern slavery, including human trafficking, servitude, forced labour and debt bondage.
Use this quick tool to identify whether a situation could be poor work conditions or modern slavery and find services in Australia that you can refer someone to for information or advice.
We can understand exploitation as a continuum, by imagining a line with different extremes at each end. Exploitative practices vary in severity, depending on where they fall on the continuum and can include poor work conditions such as discrimination or underpayment, to modern slavery practices which represent the most severe types of exploitation. There are different modern slavery practices, and these practices include restricting someone’s freedom, severely violating someone’s human rights or deceiving or coercing someone to work. This continuum helps us to consider all forms of exploitation.
Watch this video to learn more about understanding exploitation as a continuum or read the transcript.
When considering whether the situation might be modern slavery, some important questions to ask include:
If yes, they could be experiencing modern slavery.
If you think someone has or is experiencing modern slavery, there are different ways people can get support.
For free and confidential information about support options, contact:
Australian Red Cross (Red Cross) provides help and support to migrants in Australia, including people who have experienced human trafficking, forced labour or forced marriage. Red Cross delivers the Support for Trafficked People Program across Australia which helps people recover and rebuild their lives.
The Support Program helps people find somewhere safe to live, provides support to access medical care, counselling, legal and migration advice, financial support, help with education and training or finding a job and building social connections.
The Support Program is funded by the Department of Social Services and eligibility is determined by the Australian Federal Police.
For information about other Red Cross programs, visit migration services and support.
Red Cross has offices in each Australian state and territory. Find a Red Cross office near you
For free and confidential legal and migration assistance, contact:
Anti-Slavery Australia is a specialist legal practice which can provide free and confidential legal and migration assistance to people who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing modern slavery in Australia.
Anti-Slavery Australia provides free and confidential legal advice, assistance and representation on immigration, citizenship, employment law, family law, criminal law and victims’ compensation.
They can also help to connect people with other support services, such as housing, counselling and financial assistance.
To report or discuss a concern, contact:
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigates cases of modern slavery and can refer suspected cases to the Support for Trafficked People Program, delivered by the Australian Red Cross. The AFP also delivers initiatives to raise awareness of modern slavery practices.