System Message:

Australian Immigration Daily News

Breaking Australian immigration news brought to you by Migration Alliance and associated bloggers. Please email

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Team Blogs
    Team Blogs Find your favorite team blogs here.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Posted by on in General
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 5348

Australia’s 0% Human Trafficking Conviction Rate



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. 

There is no way to accurately describe the harrowing ordeal experienced by trafficking victims. Victims are often tricked into coming to Australia through the promise of a job in hospitality or a karaoke bar. When they arrive in Australia their passports are confiscated and they are told that they now owe the trafficker thousands of dollars and must work as sex slaves to pay their debt. The next, most horrifying, stage is where the traffickers try to “break” the victims to ensure cooperation. This is often achieved through extreme violence, including repeated beatings, rapes and food deprivation. Once the victims have been through this stage, they are prostituted to hundreds of clients with few to no days off. They are kept in horrendous living conditions where their physical and mental health are severely compromised.

So what happens when victims are rescued? Under Australia’s current trafficking visa framework, they receive a 45-90 day recovery period before they must leave the country. To stay further, they need to be willing and able to assist in a trafficking investigation and/or prosecution. As such, the trafficking visa framework is “linked” to the criminal justice system. Understandably, many trafficking victims are simply too traumatised and scared to testify against their traffickers in such a short space of time. Others may want to assist, but are not useful as witnesses because they can’t remember where they were kept and don’t know the name of their trafficker. As a result, they are sent back home where they may be subject to reprisals by ruthless trafficking rings. Some victims are ostracised from their families on return, because they have engaged in sex work.

Obviously the rationale behind linking the trafficking visa framework to the criminal justice system is to encourage victims to testify against their trafficker(s), with a view to securing more convictions. It is timely to ask whether linking the trafficking visa framework to the criminal justice system has in fact increased convictions? With no convictions secured in the past two years, the figures suggest not. So are we justified in retaining this restrictive link to the criminal justice system? Perhaps allowing victims to stay longer would give them the security and time needed to feel safe enough to testify? It is interesting to note that the United States secured a conviction rate of 78% notwithstanding its more 'victim-centric' trafficking visa framework.

The United Nations Association of Australia Young Professionals recently released an issues paper reviewing this matter. If you would like to discuss this issue and help us make legislative change, join us at our stakeholder consultation on Thursday 6 April @ 12.30pm in Melbourne. We will be bringing this matter to Government and encourage you to get on board!

Please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.


© Proxy Migration 2017

Last modified on
Rate this blog entry:


  • Guest
    Mohammed kullab Sunday, 02 April 2017

    How i cane applying to this program

  • Guest
    Jane Sunday, 02 April 2017

    Are you a victim of human trafficking?

Leave your comment

Guest Sunday, 14 April 2024
Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Immigration blog

Bizcover Banner
Migration Amendment (Bridging Visas) Regulations 2024
The Migration Amendment (Bridging Visas) Regulatio...
Continue Reading...
High Court of Australia delivered a unanimous verdict in the case of LPDT v Minister
On April 10, 2024, the High Court of Australia ren...
Continue Reading...
Allianz Partners Travel Insurance Partner Discount Code for our members
Thank you for being a valued partner  At Mig...
Continue Reading...