It is a criminal offence to engage in human trafficking and slavery pursuant to Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995 (Criminal Code).
Human trafficking is the recruitment and physical transfer of a person within or across national borders, by means of coercion, threat or deception, in order to exploit that person or persons for some sort of gain after they reach their destination.
Division 270 of the Criminal Code criminalises slavery, the condition of a person over whom any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised. The slavery offences have universal jurisdiction, which means that they apply whether the conduct occurred in Australia or elsewhere in the world, and whether the victim or the offender are Australian citizens or residents.
Division 270 also criminalises slavery-like practices, including servitude, forced labour, and deceptive and/or conspiring recruiting for labour or services.
These offences can apply to the exploitation of a person’s labour or services in any industry, or to exploitation within intimate relationships.
Forced marriage is also considered a slavery-like practice under Division 270. A forced marriage is where one or both parties to the marriage do not fully and freely consent because of coercion, threat or deception, or because they are incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, for reasons including age or mental capacity.
For Human Trafficking the total maximum period of imprisonment is 25 years.
Please note this penalties is reserved for the worst kind of offending and are highly unlikely to be the penalty you actually receive.
Since the offence of human trafficking is a criminal matter, the burden of proof lies on the Prosecution. The prosecution must prove each of the elements of the charge beyond reasonable doubt. That is a high standard of the burden of proof that the prosecution must achieve before someone can be convicted of Human Trafficking.
To establish the charge of Human Trafficking, the prosecution must prove:
(1) A person who, whether within or outside Australia, intentionally:
(aa) reduces a person to slavery; or
(a) possesses a slave or exercises over a slave any of the other powers attaching to the right of ownership; or
(b) engages in slave trading; or
(c) enters into any commercial transaction involving a slave; or
(d) exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for:
(i) any act of slave trading; or
(ii) any commercial transaction involving a slave;
(2) A person who:
(a) whether within or outside Australia:
(i) enters into any commercial transaction involving a slave; or
(ii) exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for, any commercial transaction involving a slave; or
(iii) exercises control or direction over, or provides finance for, any act of slave trading; and
(b) is reckless as to whether the transaction or act involves a slave, slavery, slave trading or the reduction of a person to slavery;
Some of the possible defences available for those charged with Human Trafficking can be as follows:
For Human Trafficking, Rep-Revive Criminal & Employment Lawyers® offers the following options:
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