What is Modern Slavery?
This term describes the situation whereby a person is subjected to coercion, threats or deception in an effort to undermine or deprive them of their freedom. Modern slavery includes trafficking persons, slavery, servitude, debt bondage, deceptive recruiting for labour or services, forced labour, forced marriage and the worst forms of child labour. It does not include substandard working conditions or underpayment, however these harmful practices are also illegal and could be present in situations of modern slavery. Could you spot the signs of modern slavery?
Victims of modern slavery may:
* Have encountered lies or dishonest labour hire practices
* Face trauma, abuse, or degrading living conditions
* Be forced to work without a contract of employment or under an award
* Find their wages withheld or not being paid properly
* Be forced to pay for their own personnel protective equipment
* Face retention of travel or identification documents
* Be terrified of the trafficker, or what might happen if they attempt to escape the situation
* Encounter intimidation and threats, or actual physical or sexual abuse
* Not be aware they are being trafficked, but rather think they are just in a bad job
If you see this situation on a construction site, or in fact any other workplace, you have a moral obligation to speak up.
To report a possible crime of slavery or trafficking, call the Australian Federal Police on 131 237. In an emergency, or if someone is at risk of immediate harm, call triple zero (000).