Media Release: Forums focus on combating human trafficking and identifying victims
Release Date: Friday, March 09 2012, 04:01 PM
This is a joint media release between the AFP and WA Police.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP), Western Australia Police and Northern Territory Police are hosting a series of forums this month to raise awareness of the impacts of human trafficking.
AFP officers and representatives from the Australian Institute of Criminology are currently travelling to centres including Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Perth, Darwin and Alice Springs to discuss the human trafficking issues with community stakeholders, including non-government organisations (NGOs), local police and union representatives.
By discussing the impact of human trafficking in each region, law enforcement agencies and local stakeholders are aiming to improve their collective ability to combat this crime type.
Frontline police officers will also receive training on how to identify key indicators which may suggest a person is a victim of human trafficking, such as working excessive hours, reluctance to reveal immigration status and little or no choice of accommodation or work location.
These forums are part of the Australian Policing Strategy to Combat Trafficking Persons 2011-2013, which focuses on strengthening procedures to identify victims of human trafficking, and better educating the community about this crime type.
AFP Manager of Special References Chris McDevitt said these forums will play an integral part in helping to combat the heinous crime of human trafficking.
“While the number of human trafficking cases is comparatively low in Australia, we are not immune to this crime type and it does occur in our community,” Commander McDevitt said.
“Most AFP human trafficking investigations relate to instances of sexual servitude, but roughly speaking for every two of those investigations, the AFP progresses a labour trafficking investigation. It is important local stakeholders are aware of indicators which may suggest someone is a victim.”
WA Police Serious and Organised Crime Division Inspector Greg Maslin said the forums play an important role in helping police to identify more victims of human trafficking.
“We support the endeavours of the AFP in its agenda to strengthen systems and procedures, and in particular, their efforts in raising the awareness of the indicators which may identify possible victims,” Inspector Maslin said.
“These forums will also assist WA Police officers to understand the referral process with regard to those suspected of human trafficking offences to the AFP and other agencies.”
More information on Australia’s strategy to combat human trafficking is available at www.ag.gov.au/peopletrafficking.
Resources include the National Guidelines for NGOs working with trafficked people, and factsheets which provide employers and employees with a guide to the steps they can take to recognise and help combat labour trafficking.
The forums are taking place between 6-16 March:
Kalgoorlie – 6 March
Karratha – 8 March
Perth – 12 March
Darwin – 14 March
Alice Springs – 16 March
***Note to media: A forum session will be open to media in Perth on 12 March and a doorstop interview opportunity available. Please contact AFP National Media for more information. More forum sessions will be held around Australia later this year.***
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333
Western Australia Police Media (08) 9222 1394
Red Cross Media 0457 542 113