We want freedom for everyone, everywhere, always. We are taking modern slavery risks seriously and are implementing a university wide strategy to ensure students can make informed choices, and access the support services they need.
Here you can learn more about modern slavery, how to recognise it, the risks as a student, how to access the support you need to prevent it and access our Canvas module. You can also find out about other opportunities to take meaningful action against it.
Modern slavery is a serious violation of an individual’s dignity and human rights. Exploitative practices, including human trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage, are all considered modern slavery and are serious crimes under Australian law.
It occurs in every country in the world including Australia. The International Labour Organisation estimates there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery conditions worldwide, with up to 15,000 people estimated to be living in conditions of modern slavery in Australia.
Modern slavery is only used to describe serious exploitation. It does not include practices like substandard working conditions or underpayment of workers. However, these practices are also illegal and harmful and may be indicators of modern slavery.
Young people, including students are at a heightened risk of experiencing modern slavery both in Australia and overseas.
Students are particularly vulnerable to being exploited in the workplace, especially those who have fewer immediate support networks, lower English language proficiency, work in the gig economy, or are unaware of the workforce laws in Australia.
COVID-19 is compounding the likelihood of exploitation in the workplace, for all young people, whether international or domestic.
Worker exploitation can occur in the form of:
Exploitation like this is often an indicator that more perverse practices including slavery may be present. The modern slavery scenarios that students may be at risk of experiencing include:
Due to the covert nature of the crime and low awareness it is estimated that most victims of modern slavery go undetected in Australia. It is important that people are aware that modern slavery exists, that they talk about it and that they know how to recognise the signs.
Here are the main signs according to Anti-Slavery Australia:
Everyone working in Australia or planning to work in Australia has rights relating to minimum wages, work conditions and your treatment at work. These include: