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MEDIA RELEASE: IJM Australia welcomes budget commitment to Anti-Slavery Commissioner

International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s $8 million commitment in the 2023 Budget to establishing a federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner, as well as funding to combat online scamming.  

IJM is a leading anti-slavery charity with frontline operations around the world.   

IJM Australia CEO, Steve Baird, said he was pleased to see the Government honour its election commitment.  He shares:

“We are delighted to see the Government honour its commitment to fighting modern slavery both here in Australia and overseas with the establishment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

IJM Australia and others have long advocated for a federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner. It means Australia is taking our role seriously, and sending a message that we will not tolerate the scourge that is modern slavery in our world.

It is a significant role, and there is a lot of work to be done to effectively combat modern slavery and human trafficking, and to hold government, industry and society to account for their roles in preventing this at every level. Continuous funding is key to ensuring a sustainable and systemic response to modern slavery.”

The Budget allocated $8 million over 4 years from 2023–24 (and $2.0 million per year ongoing) to establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to work across Government, industry and civil society, to support compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2018, to improve transparency in supply chains and help fight modern slavery in Australia and abroad. 

IJM Australia is also pleased to see Budget funds dedicated to combatting online scamming, including $58 million to establish a National Anti-Scam Centre, which will share data across the government and private sectors.  

Online scamming is not only a growing crime but one with significant levels of human trafficking. Among scammers targeting Australians, a significant proportion have been trafficked and trapped in large call centres and forced to conduct scams under threat of violence.  

IJM has been partnering with local law enforcement, embassies and international agencies in Southeast Asia to rescue and repatriate workers trafficked to these scam compounds.

Media: Billy Briggs | 0474 697 235

Click here to learn more about online scamming and IJM’s response.

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