In November 2016, theand it is currently (as of August 2017) undergoing public hearings in NSW.
Awarned that human trafficking levels in NSW were underestimated and under-reported, and there was a need for more focus on exploitation occurring in private homes and small businesses. .
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Act 2013 (Cth), which amended the Criminal Code (Cth), criminalised forced labour and marriage in order to boost the Australian legislative response to human trafficking. This was passed after the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime highlighted that human trafficking convictions are on the rise in a quarter of countries around the world.
In addition, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and other Measures) Act 2013 (Cth) was intended to provide protection to vulnerable witnesses, particularly victims of human trafficking and slavery.
The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has also started an inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia on 15 February 2017. This Commonwealth Inquiry is .
In a, the Committee Chair, Hon Paul Green MLC said:
The terms of reference for the NSW inquiry are:
The hearings so far have identified the following groups as vulnerable:
The hearings held on 29 May 2017, and the most recent hearing on the 15 June 2017, focused on a lack of community integration and awareness, particularly regarding sexual exploitation of children in out-of-home care, and forced marriages.
The next hearing is scheduled for 11 August 2017, and will feature submissions from the International Justice Mission Australia, Zoic Environmental Pty Ltd and Walk Free Foundation.
The NSW Inquiry Committee Report is due to be published by September 2017.
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, and related documents.
Fiona McGaughey, Dave Webb, Peta-Jane Hogg, ‘’ The Conversation, 13 June 2017.
Walk Free Foundation,(NSW), 17 February 2017.
Philippa McDonald, ‘Inquiry reveals hidden problem of human trafficking and slavery in NSW,’ ABC News, 11 December 2013.
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