find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Lawyers aid victims of trafficking

Lawyers aid victims of trafficking

The legal community has made a significant contribution to the fight against slavery and trafficking in Australia, but more assistance is needed to fulfill the growing needs of victims in the…

The legal community has made a significant contribution to the fight against slavery and trafficking in Australia, but more assistance is needed to fulfill the growing needs of victims in the wake of the GFC.

According to Jennifer Burn, director of the Anti-Slavery Project, and associate professor of law at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia needs to review its response to trafficking and ensure it extends from focusing on trafficking into the sex industry to exploring the issue of forced labour and forced marriage. She adds that Australia must also look beyond the criminal facets of slavery, to improve the avenues that trafficked people can use to seek compensation and exercise their rights under Australian workplace relations laws.

Still, Burn said much progress has been made over the last five years - particularly around immigration. Significant legislative reform came into effect 1 July 2009 to ensure that the process of obtaining bridging visas, trafficking visas and the pitch for permanent residency - via a Permanent Witness Protection (Trafficking) Visa - now centres more on the victim. All up, said Burn, the Australian Government has spent more than $58 million on anti-trafficking measures in Australia and the Pacific region - including the development of the better visa system, establishing victim support programs and developing new positions with the Department of Immigration and Australia Police Force.

And the legal community has also played an essential role. Via a pro bono network that is coordinated out of the Faculty of Law at UTS, Burn said lawyers are assisting around 80 clients - most of whom have been trafficked to and enslaved in Australia.

"Often at the stage that we meet them the primary area that they need advice on is in the area of Visa support, a lot of our time has been spent working with them on an appropriate visa pathway and often that results in a grant of permanent residency," said Burn. "Some of our clients have become Australian citizens and we've gone to the citizenship ceremonies. It's a wonderful thing to see."

Burn is hoping to establish a more formalised national network of pro bono lawyers. She noted that a more extensive network could see more assistance offered to victims in terms of seeking financial compensation, as well as employment law support, family law support and occasionally, criminal law support.

"We are meeting a certain level of need (currently) and we're recruiting people on an as needed basis, mainly by ringing up friends," said Burn.

For more information see www.antislavery.org.au

Holly: Special screening

The legal community has been invited to a special screening of Holly, a film shot on location in Cambodia exploring the growing issue of human trafficking.

Hosted by LexisNexis (publisher of Lawyers Weekly), the industry event - including networking drinks and a welcome address from guest speakers - will take place on Wednesday 14 April at Dendy Circular Quay, Sydney, with all proceeds raised on the night going to the UTS Anti-Slavery Project.

See www.lexisnexis.com.au/holly for tickets and more information

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyers aid victims of trafficking
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Violence
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...