8 MARCH 2018
This morning the NSW Legislative Council had the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 introduced by the Hon. Paul Green MLC. This is an historic step in regional efforts to eliminate slavery in its modern form.
The Bill has been crafted by the Modern Slavery Bill working group, of which International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia was a part. It is the first of its kind in Australia. IJM is grateful and applauds Paul Green's initiatives in bringing the issue of modern slavery to the forefront of people’s minds.
This Bill specifically recognises cybersex trafficking as a form of modern day slavery, amongst other forms of slavery, and imposes increased penalties on those commissioning the abuse of children via live streaming by amending the NSW Crimes Act. These proposed amendments are a direct result of recommendations contained in the inquiry’s report and consistent with the submissions made by IJM Australia within the Modern Slavery Bill working group.
“Demand for cybersex increasingly comes from Western paedophiles from countries like Australia. These developed nations produce much of the demand. The Modern Slavery Bill introduced today will make this type of disturbing crime less appealing with increased awareness amongst the public and within government. The increased penalties will also serve as a very real deterrent,” said Ms Caroly Houmes (Chief Executive, IJM Australia).
40.3 million people are trapped in slavery worldwide. It is a human rights issue and includes but is not limited to acts such as the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC), forced labour, servitude, etc.
“This is a significant and important step in the fight to ending slavery, as it points NSW in the right direction towards ending slavery for good,” said Ms Houmes.
The Modern Slavery Bill makes provisions for the first appointment within Australia of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner and introduces the need to slave-proof supply chains. Further, the crimes will be dealt with in a victim-centred approach and laws around cybersex trafficking strengthened. The issue ofybersex trafficking is of particular concern as it is distinctly fuelled by Western demand. Therefore, IJM is grateful that the legislation adequately addresses the seriousness of this crime. It is also of direct importance to the work of IJM in the Philippines where IJM works together with local authorities to combat OSEC.
“All of this is an important step in promoting NSW’s contribution to put slavery out of business,” Ms Houmes stated.
Read the transcript of the Hon. Paul Green MLC's second reading here: here.
See the Eternity news coverage of the Bill's introduction.
What is cybersex trafficking?
Cybersex trafficking is the live-streaming of the sexual exploitation of children viewed over the internet. Paedophiles and predators anywhere in the world can now search online and wire a secure payment to an adult who sets up the show. Boys and girls—some under 2 years old—are abused or forced to perform sex acts in front of a webcam. Shows typically cost between $26 - $200 depending on the severity of the abuse.
Ms Houmes is available for interview.
Media enquiries: Bianca Bryson 0478 219 171
International Justice Mission (IJM) is the world’s largest international anti-slavery organisation, working to end modern-day slavery, human trafficking and other forms of violence against the poor by rescuing and restoring victims, restraining perpetrators, and transforming broken public justice systems. IJM Australia joins with that mission globally and locally works to build the movement of Australians seeking justice for the poor. You can fuel this movement as a Freedom Partner.
International Justice Mission is a global organisation that protects the poor from violence throughout the developing world. IJM partners with local authorities to rescue victims of violence, bring criminals to justice, restore survivors, and strengthen justice systems.Find out more