Support for Trafficked People Program
The Support for Trafficked People Program (Support Program) is a key component of Australia’s anti-human trafficking strategy and the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and Slavery 2015-19 [624 Kb]. The Support Program provides assistance to all victims of human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices, including forced marriage and forced labour, who meet the eligibility criteria.
The Support Program is administered by the Department of Social Services and delivered nationally by the Australian Red Cross. It aims to assist clients in meeting their safety, security, health and well-being needs, and to develop options for life after they leave the Support Program. Case managers are responsible for supporting clients to access services to meet their individual needs, which may include:
- case management support
- suitable accommodation that meets the Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) security and safety requirements
- medical treatment (through Medicare and the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme, or as approved);
- referral to legal and migration advice
- skills development training, including English-language classes and vocational guidance
- social support.
The Support Program is divided into the following streams:
- Assessment and Intensive Support Stream – intensive support for 45 days to all trafficked people referred by the AFP, irrespective of whether they are willing or able to assist with the investigation or prosecution of a human trafficking or slavery-related offence. Clients have access to the following support as needed:
- case management support
- secure accommodation
- a living allowance
- an amount for the purchase of essentials
- access to health care
- access to interpreters
- access to legal services and migration advice
- assistance with accessing income support and a Health Care Card, if eligible.
- Extended Intensive Support Stream – access to a further 45 days’ support for clients who are willing, but not able, to assist with an investigation or prosecution of a human trafficking or slavery-related offence. Children, and all victims of forced marriage are automatically entitled to access the Extended Intensive Support Stream if it is in their best interests.
Forced Marriage Support Stream Trial – intensive support for up to 200 days for clients who are in, or at risk of, a forced marriage. This includes access to the 90 days of support already provided on the ‘Assessment and Intensive Support’ and ‘Extended Intensive Support’ streams. Clients are referred by the AFP, however are not required to contribute to a criminal investigation or prosecution to access this support.
This trial was announced by The Hon Dan Tehan, the Former Minister for Social Services and The Hon Alex Hawke, the Former Assistant Minister for Home Affairs on 15 February 2018. A factsheet provides further information on the trial. A summary evaluation report on the trial is also available.
- Justice Support Stream – support until the investigation and prosecution of a human trafficking or slavery-related matter is finalised. Clients have access to the following support as needed and if eligible:
- assistance with accessing income support and a Health Care Card, if eligible
- assistance with securing longer-term accommodation
- assistance to purchase essential furniture and household items
- access to Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- access to legal services and interpreters
- assistance to obtain employment and training if desired
- links to social support.
- Temporary Trial Support Stream – intensive support for trafficked people who return to Australia to give evidence pertaining to a human trafficking prosecution. Recipients are entitled to short-term accommodation and a weekly living and food allowance.
There is also a 20 working day transition period for clients leaving the Support Program.
The Australian Government has a comprehensive Human Trafficking Visa Framework (Visa Framework) comprised of the Bridging F Visa and the Referred Stay Visa. These visas enable foreign nationals who do not already hold a valid visa and are suspected victims of human trafficking or slavery to remain lawfully in Australia. Like Australian citizens and other valid visa holders who are suspected trafficked people, they are then able to access support through the Support Program.