Legal Studies Assessment: Human Trafficking and Slavery

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Jamie Fitzgerald|
Legal Studies Assessment
|
Human Trafficking & Slavery|

3/26/2011
|

Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is as described by Wikipedia as the illegal trade in humans for the use of sexual exploitation or forced labor.

Human Rights is considered as modern-day slavery. The responses and effectiveness of legal & non-legal responses have varied.

The exact extent of the growth of the industry is unknown due to the illegal methods of trafficking and differentiation in methods.

Human Trafficking is illegal in Australia under Division 270 of the Criminal Code (Commonwealth). An amendment was made in 1999, and it implemented the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.

The annual report released by the Australian Federal Police in 2008/2009 stated they had sponsored 146 people into the “Support for victims of People Trafficking Program” which is sponsored by the Office For Women within the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs

Several offenses relating to human trafficking were added to the Criminal Code in 2005 with the Criminal Code Amendment (Trafficking in Persons Offences) Act 2005 (Cth)

The amendment inserted human trafficking and debt bondage offences into the Commonwealth Criminal Code and amended the existing provisions related to recruiting for sexual services. The amendments reflected the growing recognition that people trafficking is not a problem which is limited to the sex industry.

Section 270 of the Criminal Code includes offences and maximum sentences for: * slavery (25 years)
* sexual servitude (15 years)
* Deceptive recruitment for sexual servitude (seven years).

Section 271 of the Criminal Code includes offences and maximum sentences for: * trafficking in persons (12 years)
* trafficking in children (25 years)
* domestic trafficking in persons (12 years)
* Debt bondage (12 months).

These crimes are considered to be aggravated offences when children are involved, and in this case, raising higher penalties.

The Migration Act 1958 (Cth) stated that it is it is an offence for an employer, labor hire company, employment agency or other person to knowingly or recklessly allow a non-citizen without work rights to work, or to refer them for work.

Following the Migration Amendment (Employer Sanctions) Act 2007 (Cth), the exploitation of unlawful non-citizen workers are aggravating factors attracting a higher penalty. The maximum penalties are five years imprisonment, and/or fines of up to $33,000 for people and $165,000 for companies per worker.

Several Federal Laws do support the investigation of Trafficking. Trafficking offences in the Criminal Code are specifically designated as serious crimes in the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 (Cth) Law enforcement agencies, including the Australian Federal Police, can seek permission to intervene relevant telephone calls and emails for the purposes of investigating trafficking offences. This obtained information can be used as evidence in court. Information obtained through telephone interception has been important evidence in at least one Australian trafficking prosecution: Sieders v R; Yotchomchin v R [2008] NSWCCA 187. Trafficking offences in the Criminal Code are supported by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth). If the matter involves a ‘serious offence’, a judge can issue a monitoring order to require a financial institution to provide information about transactions conducted during a certain period. Ultimately, the regime allows for a court to order the restraint and forfeiture of proceeds of certain crimes. All Australian jurisdictions have legislation regarding proceeds of crime.

In 2004, the federal government introduced the Commonwealth Action Plan to Eradicate Trafficking in Person. It was made up of 4 elements: 1) Prevention, Detection and...
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