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Does human trafficking happen in Australia?

Yes, human trafficking in Australia continues to occur, hidden, yet right in front of us. In 2020, the Australian government referred 212 suspected cases of trafficking for possible investigation, while an estimated 15,000 people in Australia are living in modern slavery.

Although there are very few prosecutions, the first prosecution of a domestic slavery case in Australia occurred in July 2021.

Human trafficking is an estimated US$150 billion industry worldwide with over 40 million people enslaved – more than any other time in history.

As we at Project Rescue Children sees on the frontlines, human trafficking victims can be any age, race, gender identity, sex, ethnicity, nationality, immigration status, and socioeconomic class. That being said, there are certain groups of people who are more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation because of their situation or their position within society.

This includes migrants, irregular migrants, stateless populations, and refugees; marginalised groups; people with physical or intellectual disabilities; people facing employment instability, the homeless, financial insecurity and debt; and children.

As members of the community, everyone has a responsibility to be aware of human trafficking, because the reality is that any one of us could encounter a victim of human trafficking in our daily lives.

Project Rescue Children continues to fight child trafficking and exploitation globally with law enforcement.

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