The Australian Christian Lobby backs calls for an Anti-Slavery Commissioner as part of a two-pronged approach to protecting vulnerable trafficked women in Australia.

ACL spokesperson, Wendy Francis said an Anti-Slavery Commissioner, as suggested on SBS’s Insight program by anti-slavery expert Professor Jennifer Burn, is badly needed to put a break on the widespread trafficking of girls into Australia to work in brothels.

“Human trafficking, or slavery, is the fastest growing crime worldwide. Sex trafficking is one significant aspect of this trade,” Ms Francis said.

“Australia also needs to adopt the well-tested Nordic approach to combating prostitution which has had dramatic effects at decreasing the demand for prostitution by making it illegal to buy sexual services.

“It is disgraceful that girls are coming to Australia, often under false illusions, and live in fear of their pimps and brothel masters.

The Australian Federal Police has identified widespread sexual exploitation of girls being trafficked to work in Australian brothels.  

“Slavery and slavery-like practices are a violation of human rights and should not be occurring in Australia. A Commissioner focused on Anti-Slavery will go some way in supporting the victims of trafficking and flushing out those involved in this illegal activity.”

“This may also be an opportune time for the new government to listen to independent voices like Professor Burn and the AFP and seriously review funding organisations that continue to suggest that trafficking is not an issue, as currently is the case with Scarlett Alliance.