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Australian Trafficking Isssues 08

Scarlet Alliance Briefing Paper Trafficking In Persons January 2008

Submitted to the US State Department for the 2008 TIP Report

  • Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery are not inherent characteristics of the English speaking or non-English speaking sectors of the Australian Sex Industry.

– The Scarlet Alliance Migration Working Party brings together all of the multi-lingual community educators working with sex workers in Australia, to discuss recent and topical issues. The Scarlet Alliance membership has comprehensive and regular contact with culturally and linguistically diverse sex industry workplaces in Australia.

  • In the event of encountering trafficking and sexual slavery cases in the Australian sex industry, our members offer individual advocacy and support for the appropriate action to be taken.

– The Australian Government in 2003 committed $ 20 million into prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of incidents of people trafficking and sexual slavery in Australia, accompanied by a victim support program. This has included strengthening laws and setting up a 23 person AFP specialist Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team (TSETT). A further $38 million was committed to this response in 2007.

  • DIAC, AFP, ATO, state government department and local councils regularly make contact with sex industry workplaces in Australia. In most cities and states it is a legal industry.
  • The non-English speaking sectors of the Australian sex industry are well connected with sex worker services and highly informed about Government departments. While more peer education resources towards this sector would be welcomed, it is our opinion that non-English speaking background sex workers in Australia are able to access assistance and help if trafficking or sexual slavery are occurring.
  • Sydney Sexual Health research in this area concurs that non-English speaking background sex workers in Australia successfully access targeted sexual health services, and are well informed about other available services .
  • Scarlet Alliance has successful partnerships with Empower Foundation of Thailand, and Zi Teng of Hong Kong, to ensure accurate services and information for Thai and Chinese sex workers in Australia. In 2008 two Scarlet Alliance Australian Youth Ambassador volunteers will conduct a 6 month placement with Empower Foundation Thailand. In 2008/09 a joint research project with Zi Teng on Chinese Migrant Sex Workers in Australia will be reported upon.
  • Scarlet Alliance is currently lobbying for a national multilingual sex worker resource project to be funded, as per recommendations from the Mid-Term HIV/AIDS and STI Strategy Stocktake hosted by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aging.

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