Chapter 1 Introduction
Conduct of the inquiry
On 13 August 2012, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Bob
Carr, asked the Committee to inquire into and report on Slavery, Slavery like
conditions and People Trafficking. The terms of reference of the inquiry were
…inquire into and report on slavery, slavery like conditions
and people trafficking with a particular focus on:
n Australia’s efforts
to address people trafficking, including through prosecuting offenders and protecting
and supporting victims;
n ways to encourage
effective international action to address all forms of slavery, slavery-like
conditions and people trafficking; and
n international best
practice to address all forms of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people
The Committee invited an array of stakeholders, and groups and
individuals with established interest in human rights to submit to the inquiry,
including relevant government departments, non‑government organisations
(NGOs), and civil society groups in Australia.
The Committee received 74 submissions and 41 exhibits from a range of Government
Departments, non-government organisations, civil society groups, and
individuals within Australia and the region.
The Committee also took evidence from 39 organisations and individuals
at ten public hearings held in Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne over the course
of the inquiry.
Structure of the report
The Committee’s report is structured around the inquiry’s terms of
reference. This introductory chapter provides an outline of the conduct of the
Chapter two provides an overview of the international and domestic
definitions of slavery, slavery-like conditions and people trafficking.
Chapter three examines the current extent of slavery, slavery-like
conditions and people trafficking in Australia including details of the investigations,
prosecutions and convictions; research on slavery and people trafficking; and
the community perceptions of slavery and people trafficking in Australia.
Chapter four focuses on the Australian Government response to people trafficking
nationally as well as international efforts to combat slavery, slavery-like
conditions and people trafficking.
Chapter five provides an overview of Australia’s efforts to support victims
of trafficking and slavery including the people trafficking visa framework, the
support for trafficked people program and suggests additional support for
victims of trafficking.
Chapter six examines exploitation in product supply chains and Chapter
seven looks at community perceptions on international best practice.