Human Trafficking and Slavery factsheet

Human trafficking and slavery are serious crimes in Australia.

Human trafficking and slavery are against the law.

A person who commits these crimes can go to jail, whether they are a man or a woman.

If you or someone you know is in danger call the police on 000.

Police in Australia are safe and can be trusted.

If you need a free interpreter call 131 450.

The Australian Government does not tolerate human trafficking or modern slavery under any circumstances.

Human trafficking and slavery occur when people are forced into exploitative situations for another person’s profit. It can happen to men, women and children. Human trafficking and slavery can include:

  • slavery, servitude or forced labour in industries such as hospitality, construction, forestry, mining or agriculture, as well as in intimate relationships;
  • debt bondage;
  • sexual exploitation;
  • forced marriage; or
  • trafficking for the purpose of organ removal.

Human trafficking and slavery are hidden crimes.

Human trafficking and slavery are crimes that can be difficult to detect. People may not seek help because they are afraid of retaliation from their exploiters or losing their migration status.

Signs that could indicate a person is being trafficked can include where a person:

  • is being coerced, threatened or forced to work;
  • is subject to poor working conditions;
  • is not being paid or appears to be repaying a large debt to their employer or third party; or
  • has their passport or other personal documents held by a third party, and cannot access these documents when they want to.

Are you, or is someone you know, at risk?

If you or someone you know is in, or at risk of human trafficking or slavery you can contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237 (131AFP) or go to the AFP website at for help. The AFP can keep you safe, provide advice and refer you to other services for support, such as accommodation, financial support, counselling and legal and immigration advice.

The Support for Trafficked People Program is funded by the Government and delivered by the Australian Red Cross to provide assistance to people who are victims of human trafficking or slavery.

There are other services in Australia that can help.

1800RESPECT is Australia’s national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling service. It provides free, confidential telephone and online counselling and information. Counsellors will listen to you, answer questions and can refer you to other support services in your local area.

Call 1800 737 732 or go to the 1800RESPECT website at

Do you need an interpreter?

Call the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450. An interpreter from TIS can help you to communicate with other services, however TIS does not provide counselling. All calls are free and confidential.

Further information on human trafficking and slavery in Australia:

For more information on the Support for Trafficked People Program go to the Department of Social Services website at or the Australian Red Cross website at You can also email the Australian Red Cross at

For more information on human trafficking and slavery, go to the Department of Home Affairs website at or the Australian Federal Police website at and search for “human trafficking”.

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