Entries by category: Human Trafficking


Global Freedom Network - non-legal approach to stop slavery

The Global Freedom Network is an inter-faith organisation established to 'eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking across the world by 2020'.  This new organisation is led by the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar in Egypt.  The founder of the organisation, Andrew Forrest is the head of the Walk Free Foundation

In the joint statement the founders say:

'Modern slavery and human trafficking are crimes against humanity.

Any indifference to those suffering exploitation must cease. We call to action all people of faith and their leaders, all governments and people of goodwill, to join the movement against modern slavery and human trafficking and support the Global Freedom Network.

The physical, economic and sexual exploitation of men, women and children condemns 30 million people to dehumanisation and degradation. Every day we let this tragic situation continue is a grievous assault on our common humanity and a shameful affront to the consciences of all peoples.'

Under the Agreement, all parties commit to pursuing all avenues and pathways to galvanise global action to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. Action plans for the first year will be developed to engage:

  • all global faiths to modern slavery-proof their supply chains and investments and to take remedial action if necessary
  • all global faiths to mobilise their youth sections to support programmes to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking
  • families, schools, universities, congregations and institutions to educate on the nature of modern slavery and human trafficking, how to report it and the destructiveness of harmful social attitudes and prejudices and social systems in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking
  • Government leaders to modern slavery-proof public sector supply chains
  • 50 major multi-national businesses whose CEOs are people of faith or of goodwill to commit to modern slavery-proof their supply chains
  • 162 governments to publicly endorse the establishment of the Global Fund to End Slavery, with 30 heads of state publicly endorsing it by the end of 2014
  • the G20 to condemn modern slavery and human trafficking and adopt an anti-slavery and human trafficking initiative and support the abovementioned Global Fund.

The joint statement concludes:

'Our world must be freed of these terrible evils and crimes against humanity. Every hand and heart must be joined to bring this freedom to all those who are trapped and suffering. This agreement is a beginning and a pledge – the victims of modern slavery and human trafficking will not be forgotten or ignored: everyone will know their story. We will walk with them to freedom.'

Source: New initiative by global faiths to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking by 2020, 17 March 2014

In the media

Andrew Forrest previously established the Walk Free Foundation to end modern slavery. The Walk Free Foundation have created the Global Slavery Index 2013.  It is an invaluable tool to find out about slavery across the world – you can search by country and region to see where enslavement is most prevalent.

Find out more on our Research guides

Human Trafficking

Slavery and forced labour


Human trafficking involving partner migration - a report

A report has been released about women who were trafficked, tricked and trapped into servitude, or slavery, through the partner migration process: 'Help-seeking strategies of victim/survivors of human trafficking involving partner migration' by Kelly Richards and Samantha Lyneham, Trends and issues in crime and criminal justice No 468, Australian Institute of Criminology, 2014.

The report's authors interviewed eight women who had escaped situations of domestic and sexual servitude from their partners and details barriers which count against migrant women in a slavery situation, and strategies they used to escape an abusive partnership.

Find out more


National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, 2014

January 2014 is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States of America.  President Barack Obama in his statement to the media said:

'Over a century and a half after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, millions remain in bondage -- children forced to take part in armed conflict or sold to brothels by their destitute families, men and women who toil for little or no pay, who are threatened and beaten if they try to escape. Slavery tears at our social fabric, fuels violence and organized crime, and debases our common humanity. During National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge in all its forms.

Because modern-day slavery is a global tragedy, combating it requires international action. The United States is shining a spotlight on the dark corners where it persists, placing sanctions on some of the worst abusers, giving countries incentives to meet their responsibilities, and partnering with groups that help trafficking victims escape from their abusers' grip. We are working with other nations as they step up their own efforts, and we are seeing more countries pass anti-human trafficking laws and improve enforcement.'  Source: Press release of the White House, 31 December 2013

This is an excellent example of a non-legal response to combatting slavery and human trafficking.  Human trafficking and slavery are topics you can explore either as a human rights issue in Australia or as an international human rights issue. 

We have updated our Research Guide Human Rights: HSC Legal Studies and included new pages on these topics:

Human Trafficking

Slavery and forced labour

We will continue to update these pages on our Research Guide over the next few months.


Compensation for sex-trafficked women

Anti-slavery Australia working with pro bono lawyers from Clayton Utz have successfully won over a million dollars in compensation payouts for 22 women forced to work in brothels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. 

The NSW Victims Compensation Tribunal awarded the statutory maximum of $50,000 to seven women in New South Wales in 2012. 

At the 2013 Justice Awards dinner on 21 October 2013 this partnership was awarded the Pro Bono Partnership Award to acknowledge the excellent outcomes they have achieved for victims who have been sex-trafficked into Australia and forced to work in sexual servitude.  See media release.

For more details about this partnership, see 'Sex slaves get chance at life free of abuse' by Michaela Whitbourne, SMH, 21 October 2013.

Details of the program

For over four years, Anti-Slavery Australia and Clayton Utz have worked in partnership to pioneer a path to compensation for women in NSW who have been sex-trafficked into Australia and forced to work in sexual servitude.  Since its establishment in 2009, the partnership has opened up a new avenue of compensation for hundreds of women sex-trafficked into NSW each year, as well as achieving excellent outcomes for this group of highly disadvantaged clients, many of whom do not speak English, and who have lived in fear for their and their family's safety, experienced serious assault and had their dignity and rights denied.  Through the partnership, clients have been able to seek compensation in a supported environment and receive a high level of legal advice they would otherwise not have been able to access.  In the 2012-2013 financial year, Clayton Utz and ASA assisted 22 clients to obtain statutory compensation for trafficked clients in NSW and the partnership currently has 17 clients with applications pending.


Organised and serious crime revisited

We recently wrote a post on 'Organised and serious crime' about a recent report produced by the Australian Crime Commission, Organised crime in Australia 2013.  How have academics responded to this report?

The Australian Crime Commission has provided links to two responses - see Reader response: serious and organised crime, more than a sum of its parts, 23 August 2013.  You will find links to:

  • Blog post by Dr David Cornery published on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's Official blog written on 13 August 2013 and 
  • Reader response to this post by Hamish Hansford on 21 August on why the impact of organised crime makes it a national security issue.

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