Slavery, forced-labour, human trafficking in Australia

Slavery, forced-labour and human trafficking are all alive and well in Australia, the Archbishop of Sydney says.

Speaking at the parliamentary inquiry into human trafficking in New South Wales, Archbishop Anthony Fisher outlined his personal experience of these practises.

He said when he was a parish priest a South American nanny asked him for help.

Her passport had been taken away, she hadn’t been paid, nor was she even allowed to leave the home in which she worked without permission.

The inquiry is hearing from many organisations that slavery is rife in some Australian industries.

These include the sex, construction, food processing, agriculture and domestic industries.

The Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans told the inquiry most victims are immigrants, who have been lied to by traffickers.

They avoid going to the authorities because they fear being sent to detention centers for illegal immigrants.

Earlier this month, former Australian representative to the Vatican, John McCarthy, told the committee about the anti-trafficking efforts being promoted by Pope Francis.

Francis has called slavery “an open wound on the body of contemporary society.”


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