Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Mar 2013.
Human trafficking today enslaves around 27 million people. Men, women and children are all vulnerable, driven by demand for cheap goods and services produced by ever cheaper labour.
It’s a consequence of poverty, discrimination and powerlessness where the strong prey on the weak and vulnerable. And it occurs in suburbs near you, in sectors such as hospitality, construction, and agriculture, as well as domestic situations and the provision of sexual services.
A law passed the Senate on Wednesday, making human trafficking, forced labour and forced marriage criminal offences, and giving police greater investigative powers.
It’s a sad reminder that the denial of liberty and the exploitation of poor and vulnerable persons did not end with the formal abolition of the slave trade 190 years ago, but the same tendency to evil exists just as much today, with a much greater scope. Let’s hope the new law makes a difference in people’s lives.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.