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Lisa is an Australian lawyer and migration agent heading up Proxy Migration, which specialises in partner and student visas. Lisa is passionate about transnational law, having commenced her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a Customs and International Trade Consultant before moving across to the migration field. In her spare time, Lisa can be found coordinating the UN Young Professional’s human trafficking campaign and frequenting a variety of dance classes across Melbourne.

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In the past two years, Australia has secured 0 human trafficking convictions. Let’s be clear here: this is not because human trafficking doesn’t occur in Australia. In fact, Australia is a prime destination country for trafficking, with many Asian women and children being trafficked into Australia as sex slaves. It happens, and it happens right under our noses, often in illegal brothels and often in the most unsuspecting of suburbs. Many Melbournians would be surprised to learn that a notorious Thai sex slave trafficking racket was based at the (now closed!) Clifton Hotel, right in the middle of prestigious Kew Junction. 

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After a long period in the dark, light is finally being shone on Australia’s domestic violence endemic. You may have noticed the harrowing adverts on television and accompanying sweep of law reforms. You may also feel like you have no power to help - after all, domestic violence is in the domain of social workers and doctors right? Wrong. While not traditionally thought of as a ‘first port of call’ for domestic violence victims, migration agents may be the only professional that a victim confides in.

It is likely that you deal with more domestic violence victims than you think, with migrants forming an overrepresented constituent of victims. A recent article highlighted that at any particular point in time, up to half of the domestic violence victims staying in emergency accommodation are on a visa.[1]

Migrants are particularly vulnerable to getting stuck in a domestic violence situation for a myriad of reasons:

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