International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition – 23 August

International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition

Saturday 23rd August 2014

As we remember this important event, we need to also be aware that other forms of slavery still exist – and they exist in Australia. One form of the modern-day slave trade is human trafficking.

Forms of Human Trafficking:

Human Trafficking involves moving someone into slavery or slavery-like conditions. Victims often go unwillingly with their traffickers because they are being deceived about the nature and conditions of the work. Elements of human trafficking are:

  • The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons;
  • Control of persons by means of threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments of benefits;
  • Exploitation, which includes (at a minimum) exploiting the prostitution of others, other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs. Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime (2006). ‘Trafficking in Persons Global Patterns’, p 52.

Trafficking is a global phenomenon and nearly every country is a source, transit or destination (or combination of these three) for trafficked persons. There are many sorts of industry into which people may be trafficked. South Asian and African boys may be trafficked as camel jockeys; many eastern European women are trafficked into sex work; and Chines and other women are trafficked into garment factories.

  • Forced labour is work or service which a person is forced to do under the threat of any menace or penalty, and for which that person has not offered himself or herself voluntarily.
  • Labour trafficking or ‘trafficking for the purposes of labour exploitation’ refer to trafficking in humans which has the end purpose of involving the persons in forced labour, for example enslaved workers on fishing vessels, enslavement of migrant domestic workers, bonded labour in an agricultural setting, or labour in a sweatshop or restaurant.
  • Domestic servitude is a form of slavery that occurs in households and in most cases affects women and children. Domestic workers are brought into a country or are transported  within a country; many suffer abuse by their ‘employer’ including sexual assault. Domestic workers have been trafficked into private homes as well as embassies and consulates. Visas often require that a domestic worker remains with the original employer or face deportation, which discourages a worker from reporting any abuse.
  • Forced marriage occurs where full and free consent by both parties does not exist, often as a result of coercion and deceit.
  • Servile marriage refers to situations in which a person is considered a chattel that can be sold, transferred or inherited into marriage.
    • Sham (or fraudulent) marriage occurs where there is no intention on the part of one or both of the spouses to participate in a genuine relationship as husband and wife.

For more information: (Aust. Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans).

Updated: September 4, 2014 — 10:00 am
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