In the past, slavery and trafficking offenses occurring in Australia were under-reported, but the Australian Federal Police (AFP) has recently seen a rise in referrals. According to the AFP, Australia is primarily a destination country for people trafficked from Asia, particularly Thailand, Korea, the Philippines. and Malaysia.
Between 1995 and 2006, the majority of child sexual abusers and exploiters who traveled to Thailand, to commit sex offenses against children were Australians.
“Australians were the biggest exploiters of Thailand’s child sex tourism” (Johns Hopkins University)
More recently, reports show that Australian perpetrators have been involved in grooming children online, usually in developing countries. The Australian Federal Police is concerned that the demand for child abuse material is increasing across the country.
“In 2014 we received about 4,500 referrals of child exploitation material and in 2015 it was 11,000.” (Justine Saunders AFP Assistant Commissioner)
And even more recently it was reported that, “The United States, Britain and Australia are the main consumers of child sex abuse streamed over webcam.” (spokesperson from the Australian Federal Police)
ZOE raises awareness in Australia through the media, entertainment industry, influential voices, speaking engagements, internet communities, and encouraging university and high school involvement.
Our education in schools is reaching more and more students. We are looking to expand our curriculum and write another trafficking curriculum unit for Australian schools next year. In September 2019, ZOE Australia released their updated version of the Year 10 Geographies of Human Wellbeing curriculum. This is a free unit of work that examines the different concepts and measures of human wellbeing, and the causes of global differences in these measures between countries. Please email Sharon at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want a copy.
ZOE also raises funds to support programs in Thailand in the areas of prevention, rescue, and restoration. Stay up-to-date with news from Australia here.