2 August 2021 9:13

A ‘Sydney couple’ jailed for three years for slavery: Do you know what it is?

The 39-year-old woman was sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison. The 47-year-old man was sentenced to serve two years and six months

Investigations began in 2017 when the AFP received a referral from Anti-Slavery Australia regarding an Asian national who travelled to Australia on a three-month tourist visa.

Once her visa had expired, the host couple told the victim she would not be allowed to return to the Philippines and instructed her not to leave the premises on her own, or talk to people outside of the family.

This Sydney couple were recently sentenced for modern slavery offences, after keeping the woman in forced labour for over three years.

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In court the couple entered guilty pleas for a range of offences, including the modern slavery charge of forced labour.

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Representative image of human trafficking and forced labour; Picture Source: @CANVA

The 39-year-old woman was sentenced to serve three years and three months in prison. The 47-year-old man was sentenced to serve two years and six months, awaiting a home detention assessment to determine whether his sentence would be served in prison or as an Intensive Corrections Order.

The couple together has also been ordered to pay a total of $70,000 in reparations to the victim.

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Representative image of human trafficking and forced labour; Picture Source: @CANVA

What is human trafficking and forced labour?

Human trafficking is a very severe form of exploitation and forced labour is a form of slavery.

  • been deceived about work conditions
  • been coerced, threatened or forced to work
  • to work to pay off excessive debt.

What is forced marriage?

A person is in a forced marriage if they did not freely and fully consent to be married. It is illegal in Australia. 

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Representative image of human trafficking and forced labour; Picture Source: @CANVA

How to get help

Contact Red Cross Support for Trafficked People Program by calling 03 9345 1800

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You can also contact Red Cross if you suspect a case of human trafficking or forced labour. If you think someone is in imminent danger please call the police on 000.

To report or discuss a concern call the Australian Federal Police on 131 AFP (131 237).

You can ask the Australian Federal Police to refer you to Red Cross. Participation in the program is voluntary and you can choose to leave at any time.

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Representative image of human trafficking and forced labour; Picture Source: @CANVA

If you are not comfortable contacting the AFP, you can contact Red Cross for advice.

If you or someone you know is a victim of modern slavery, help is available.

Contact Anti-Slavery Australia on (02) 9514 8115 for free and confidential legal advice or Australian Red Cross on (03) 9345 1800 or https://www.redcross.org.au/stpp

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