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Govt to crack down on human slavery

Australia will launch an action plan to tackle human slavery and forced marriages. (file pic)

Australia will launch an action plan to tackle human slavery and forced marriages. (file pic)

Australia will ramp up efforts to combat human trafficking, slavery and forced marriages with a five-year national action plan.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan will launch the plan on Tuesday morning to coincide with the international day for the abolition of slavery.

Since 2004, the Australian Federal Police have investigated 526 cases human trafficking and slavery and identified 225 victims.

The new plan has seven key areas including education and community awareness, monitoring supply chains and increasing cooperation between the federal and state governments.

The plan also looks at ways to further crackdown on forced marriages and help young victims.

Authorities are bracing for extra cases in the next five years after forced marriages were criminalised last year.

Mr Keenan will also launch a safety plan resource aimed at girls and women who are potential victims of forced marriages.

The resource will be translated into multiple languages.

The forced marriage safety plan is available at – www.ag.gov.au/forcedmarriage

SLAVERY AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AUSTRALIA

* Since 2004, 526 police investigations and 225 victims

* Majority of trafficked victims to Australia are Asian women exploited in the sex industry

* Male and females are also trafficked to Australia to be exploited in domestic work, hospitality and construction industries.

* The Walk Free Foundation estimates 3000 people are enslaved through debt bondage or the like in Australia.

* In 2012 there was an estimate of 1000 forced marriages in Australia each year.

 


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