.

  • Written by Jennifer Burn, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney
Many instances of slavery or exploitation start with the promise of a reasonably paying job in Australia. Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

We might not want to believe it, but human trafficking and slavery happens in Australia. Slavery is not an historical artefact, but a tragic reality for millions of people around the world, including in Australia.

Recently, the term “modern slavery” has been used to contrast contemporary forms of slavery from historical slavery such as that seen during the transatlantic slave trade.

In practice, modern slavery is an umbrella term that is often used to describe human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour and forced marriage.

But slavery is timeless. It has always been about the commodification of the body of a man, woman or child, the theft of liberty and sometimes life.


Read more: Modern Slavery Bill a step in the right direction – now businesses must comply


Anti-Slavery Australia, at the University of Technology Sydney, started researching and assisting trafficked and enslaved people in Australia back in 2002. For over 17 years, Anti-Slavery Australia has provided access to legal advice and assistance to hundreds of people who have experienced modern slavery.

In 2018 alone, Anti-Slavery Australia helped over 123 people who had been trafficked to or from Australia, or had faced slavery-like conditions while in Australia, including forced marriage, servitude and forced labour.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent report by the Australian Institute of Criminology estimates that only one in five victims are detected. This means that the cases we see are likely to be a small proportion of the scale of trafficking and slavery in Australia.


Read more: At last, Australia has a Modern Slavery Act. Here's what you'll need to know


Vulnerable people of any background or status can be cruelly exploited. Some groups, such as migrant workers or young people, are more vulnerable than others.

So what does modern slavery look like in Australia?

Here are four real world examples, with names of individuals and businesses changed, to explain the different kinds of exploitation seen at Anti-Slavery Australia and considered in Australian courts.


Slavery/domestic servitude

In Australian law, slavery is defined as

the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised, including where such a condition results from a debt or contract made by the person.

Essentially, slavery is when a person is controlled as if they were mere property.

Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Eventually, with the help of one of Mr and Mrs K’s family members, Mary was able to leave this situation.

This example is based on a case that ultimately led to Mr and Mrs K being found guilty of slavery offences and sentenced to eight and four years’ imprisonment respectively.


Servitude

Servitude is when a person does not consider themselves to be free to stop working or leave their workplace, because of threats, coercion or deception; and the person is significantly deprived of their personal freedom in their life outside of work.

Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Eventually, Tom managed to escape from the house, flagged down a motorist and contacted police. Police responded and found 49 other exploited people who had been coerced and controlled.

This example is based on a case that led to two people being found guilty of causing a person to enter into or remain in servitude and sentenced to three years’ and two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.


Forced labour

Forced labour is when a person does not consider themselves free to stop working, or to leave their workplace, because of threats, coercion or deception.

Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

Eventually, John was able to get help, but he was in very poor health and died a few years later.


Forced marriage

A forced marriage is when a person is married without freely and fully consenting because of either coercion, threat or deception. It could also be because they’re incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, possibly because of their age or mental capacity.

A forced marriage is different from an arranged marriage or a sham marriage. The main difference is that there is consent in arranged and sham marriages.

Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

To find out more about the scenarios you have read, additional information and confidential legal advice contact Anti-Slavery Australia. See www.antislavery.org.au. For information and advice on forced marriage see www.mybluesky.org.au. ​

Jennifer Burn is affiliated with the NSW Government through her appointment as the NSW Interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Authors: Jennifer Burn, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/human-trafficking-and-slavery-still-happen-in-australia-this-comic-explains-how-112294

An 8-year-old made US$22 million on YouTube, but most social media influencers are like unpaid interns

A whopping 12% of the population aged 13 to 38 consider themselves social influencers, according to marketing company Morning Consult. www.shutterstock.comLike any eight-year-old, Ryan Kaji loves to p...

Dr Natalya Saldanha, Academic, RMIT University - avatar Dr Natalya Saldanha, Academic, RMIT University

Domestic violence will spike in the bushfire aftermath, and governments can no longer ignore it

Over the past two weeks, bushfires have raged across New South Wales and Queensland. While the narrative appears focused on potential causes and political point-scoring, what’s lost in this disc...

Rowena Maguire, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology - avatar Rowena Maguire, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology

The main problem with virtual reality? It's almost as humdrum as real life

Virtual horse racing, at a real racecourse? Zero points for imagination. Rachel Grey/AAP ImageJust a few years ago, virtual reality (VR) was being showered with very real money. The industry raised an...

Tomas Trescak, Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Systems, Western Sydney University - avatar Tomas Trescak, Senior Lecturer in Intelligent Systems, Western Sydney University

Children learn through play – it shouldn’t stop at preschool

Over the next few weeks, many preschoolers will meet their foundation teachers, spend some time in a classroom and hopefully make some new friends. from shutterstock.comThe transition from preschool t...

Kate Noble, Education Policy Fellow, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University - avatar Kate Noble, Education Policy Fellow, Mitchell Institute, Victoria University

GOD save us: greenspace-oriented development could make higher density attractive

The lure of suburbia clearly remains strong. To deal with sprawl, planners need to increase urban density in a way that resonates with the leafy green qualities of suburbia that residents value. Juli...

Julian Bolleter, Deputy Director, Australian Urban Design Research Centre, University of Western Australia - avatar Julian Bolleter, Deputy Director, Australian Urban Design Research Centre, University of Western Australia

Re-imagining a museum of our First Nations

The Quandamooka Art, Museum and Performance Institute offers a new way of considering the shape of First Nations museums in Australia. Cox Architecture/QYACIndigenous voices are finally being ackno...

Kieran Wong, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University - avatar Kieran Wong, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Monash University

Making sense of menopausal hormone therapy means understanding the benefits as well as the risks

Grappling with the pros and cons of menopausal hormone therapy can be confusing. From shutterstock.comAt menopause, a woman’s ovaries lose their reproductive function. Eggs are no longer release...

Susan Davis, Chair of Women's Health, Monash University - avatar Susan Davis, Chair of Women's Health, Monash University

What are the best bed sheets

Looking for new bedsheets? With so much choice on the market, finding the best bed sheets can be a challenge – but when you’re between the sheets for so many hours, it’s important to get it ri...

Digital 360 - avatar Digital 360

6 Groovy ‘70s Costume Ideas to Help You Stand Out at Your Next Retro Party

In the early 1970’s Vogue magazine famously proclaimed, “There are no rules in the fashion game now.” Indeed, by following in the footsteps of the ‘60s – defying old traditions and exp...

Digital 360 - avatar Digital 360

Chinese embassy says Liberal critics Hastie and Paterson should “repent”

The Chinese embassy has lashed out at two Liberal members of parliament, Andrew Hastie and James Paterson, saying they would need to “repent and redress their mistakes” before they would b...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the government's response to the bushfires

University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Geoff Crisp discusses the the week in politics the government’s response to the bush fires as well as the Emergency Leaders for Climate Ac...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Conditions built into Frydenberg's okay for Chinese baby formula takeover

Bellamy’s will have to have to manufacture in Victoria and keep its Australian headquarters for ten years. Bellamy’s AustraliaThe proposed acquisition of infant formula producer Bellamy&rs...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Outdoor Lighting Solutions – How to Make the Right Choice?

Whether it’s your patio, your deck, your porch, or your backyard – your outdoor space needs to be illuminated properly if you want your entire property to look good. This is also a way to boos...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

Climate change: why Sweden's central bank dumped Australian bonds

Sweden's central bank ways it will no longer invest in assets from governments with large climate footprints, even if the yields were high. ShutterstockWhat’s happening? Suddenly, at the level...

John Hawkins, Assistant professor, University of Canberra - avatar John Hawkins, Assistant professor, University of Canberra

The Conversation Yearbook 2019: celebrate with us and grab your discounted copy

The Conversation's Deputy Health Editor, Phoebe Roth, and Assistant Editor: Technology, Noor Gillani, agree this is the must-have read of 2019. Wes Mountain/The ConversationA little bit of authority ...

Molly Glassey, Digital Editor, The Conversation - avatar Molly Glassey, Digital Editor, The Conversation

Place your bets: will banning illegal offshore sites really help kick our gambling habit?

While total gambling spending in Australia decreased during 2016-17, sports betting increased by 15.3%, from A$921 million to A$1.062 billion. SHUTTERSTOCKThe Australian Communications and Media Auth...

Charles Livingstone, Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University - avatar Charles Livingstone, Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Stop the world, I want to get off! In Exit Strategies, one woman leaves and leaves again

The script for Exit Strategies was developed by performer Mish Grigor during an artist’s residency in the UK, against the backdrop of Brexit. Bryony JacksonTo perform an exit is not as simple as...

Sandra D'urso, Researcher, The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne - avatar Sandra D'urso, Researcher, The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne

Sri Lanka election: will the country see a return to strongman politics?

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the frontrunner in Sri Lanka's presidential election, faces a lawsuit in the US for alleged extrajudicial killing and torture. M.A. Pushpa Kumara/EPASri Lanka’s presidential ...

Niro Kandasamy, Tutor, University of Melbourne - avatar Niro Kandasamy, Tutor, University of Melbourne

Is social media damaging to children and teens? We asked five experts

They need to have it to fit in, but social media is probably doing teens more harm than good. from www.shutterstock.comIf you have kids, chances are you’ve worried about their presence on socia...

Alexandra Hansen, Chief of Staff, The Conversation - avatar Alexandra Hansen, Chief of Staff, The Conversation

Sick and Tired of Your Dead End Job? Try Teaching!

Tired of the same old grind at the office? Want an opportunity to impact lives both in your community and around the world? Do you love to travel and have new experiences? Teaching English is the perfect job for you! All you need is a willingness to ...

News Company - avatar News Company

The Impact of an Aging Population in Australia

There’s an issue on the horizon that Australia needs to prepare for. The portion of elderly citizens that make up the country’s overall population is increasing, and we might not have the infrastructure in place to support this. Australians h...

News Company - avatar News Company

LifeStyle

How to Make Your Girlfriend’s Birthday Extra Special

Your girlfriend’s birthday is your opportunity to show her how much you care. But how exactly do...

A Guide to Building Your Kid’s Confidence

As your child grows, confidence is key. Having low self-esteem as a child can have a detrimental e...

3 Hacks that Will Extend the Life of Your Hair Extensions

Everybody has the right to enjoy beautiful, long hair, including you! If you’ve always heard a...

Lessons in Empathy for Children

The ability to be able to understand and share the feelings of a fellow human being – empathy ...