Trafficking in Australia


The majority of trafficked people to Australia have entered Australia legally on student, tourist or work visas, however have ended up in situations of sexual exploitation, slavery and are held against their will and have a substantial debt bondage over their heads. Most are lured to Australia by traffickers promising attractive employment opportunities or schooling.

Common experiences of people trafficked to Australia include; extremely poor working conditions, labor without pay, being forced to live in the workplace working 24 hours a day, sexual abuse & enslavement, physical and verbal abuse, threats to family members and confiscation of visas, travel and legal documentation.

Australia is considered a destination country for women from South East Asia, South Korea, The People’s Republic of China and Eastern Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

To date most trafficking victims have been identified in Melbourne, Sydney & Canberra, but does occur Australia wide.

The average age of entry into prostitution in developed, English speaking countries is approximately 13 years old. Given that sexual enslavement is a hidden crime, these figures are likely to have been grossly underestimated due to an increasingly alarming incline of child prostitution reports.

In 1998, Child Wise(ECPAT Australia) established that over 3700 children were known to be working in prostitution throughout Australia.