AIC research reveals the true extent of Trafficking and Modern Slavery in Australia

A report published by the Australian Institute of Criminology has revealed the extent of modern slavery and human trafficking in Australia, with figures estimating 1300-1900 victims from 2015-2017. The report, titled ‘Estimating the dark figure of human trafficking and slavery victimisation in Australia’ will enable improved responses to and identification of these crimes, as well as improved support for victims.

Many Australians get caught in the trap of believing that modern slavery does not exist in Australia, and is only an issue internationally, particularly in developing nations. The AIC report combats this misconception, shedding light on the the existence of modern slavery in Australia, and encouraging the everyday Australian to be aware of this ongoing human rights issue.

The research conducted by AIC employed the Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE) statistical technique, allowing researchers to estimate hidden or hard-to observe populations. Researchers concluded that for every detected victim of modern slavery and trafficking in Australia, four go undetected.


Victims were found to be mostly adults, with the most common forms of human trafficking and modern slavery being forced marriage, sexual exploitation and labour exploitation. Forced marriage, the category with the highest number of reported cases, has seen a dramatic increase since 2013, with the number of reported cases increasing 7 fold.


For the full report, see https://aic.gov.au/publications/sb/sb16

Sonja Duncan