What the United Nations says about Human Trafficking in Australia

The Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons especially women and children visited Australia in November 2011

The following highlights some of her oral presentations and reports undertaken after her trip: 

In November 2011 the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons - an independent expert appointed by the UN to study and formulate recommendations to prevent or combat trafficking - conducted a formal country mission to Australia.

In her Report, the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children called for meaningful and substantive human rights due diligence approach, which provides a necessary framework to ensure policy coherence between anti-trafficking policy and related policy areas such as immigration and labour market policies as core to ensuring a human rights-based approach to trafficking in persons.

During the Rapporteur's visit to Australia, she acknowledged that statistics on trafficking did not appear to account for the true nature and scale of the problem, and expresses concerns regarding gaps in some services offered by Australia. 

The Rapporteur made a number of recommendations to the Australian Government with regard to, inter alia:

  1. developing a new framework for collecting data on trafficked persons,
  2. increasing capacity building activities for government officials,
  3. addressing key gaps in the support programme, 
  4. ensuring ongoing regional engagement to strengthen national responses and
  5. address the root causes of trafficking in sending countries, including the creation of more opportunities for safe labour migration.

During this visit, Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children gave her address to the University of Technology, Sydney in collaboration with Anti Slavery Australia and the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

She emphasised the following the anti-trafficking principles the UNODC operate under:

The Five P’s:

Protection of potential victims;

Prevention of trafficking;

Prosecution of traffickers;

Punishment of the crime;

Promotion of Partnerships between businesses and law enforcement.  

Three R’s:




Three C’s:

Capacity gap: Train front line officers;

Coordination – share intelligence;

Cooperation – work together.


You can watch her fascinating half an hour presentation here:


The Special Rapporteur on Trafficking visits Australia and speaks to Sydney University - November 2011


For further information on the Rapporteurs' visits to other nations, and her reports on Human Trafficking, go to the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner's website

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