The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Joint Media Release

13 October 2003
Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator The Hon Chris Ellison - Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator The Hon Amanda Vanstone - Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Alexander Downer MP - Attorney-General, The Hon Phillip Ruddock MP - Minister Assisting the PM for the Status Of Women, Senator The Hon Kay Patterson

Australian Government announces major package to combat people trafficking

The Australian Government has shown its commitment to combating the repugnant trade of trafficking in people by allocating more than $20 million over four years for a major package of measures to combat this growing form of transnational organised crime.

The new measures will significantly enhance the detection, investigation and prosecution of traffickers, improve the range of support available to victims and help prevent trafficking of persons. They will complement existing efforts, including Australian Government aid program activities valued at around $14 million.

This package is a strong, well-considered and determined response to people trafficking and sexual exploitation and builds on Australia's effective approach to fighting this crime.

One victim of trafficking is one too many. While Australia has a range of practical and legal measures already in place to combat trafficking, these new measures emphasise the Government's commitment to combating trafficking in persons by focusing on prevention, detection, prosecutions, supporting victims and international efforts.

A Commonwealth Action Plan to Eradicate Trafficking in Persons will be developed to co-ordinate these new initiatives.

This Action Plan will complement existing measures by providing additional initiatives. These are:

The existing networks developed by the Bali Regional Ministerial Conferences on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, and the Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues, will be used to pursue enhanced region-wide cooperation to combat trafficking in persons.

Media inquiries:        

Simon Troeth (Sen. Ellison's office) (02) 6277 7260 - Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's office) (02) 6277 7500 - Damon Hunt (Sen. Vanstone's office) (02) 6277 7560 - Sarah Higginbottom (Sen. Patterson's office) (02) 6277 7220 - Steve Ingram (Mr Ruddock's office) (02) 6277 7300

NOTE: People trafficking involves people being smuggled into a country like a commodity, sometimes for the purposes of sexual exploitation, whilst people smuggling involves the seeking of a migration outcome where someone is paid to smuggle an individual across the border.