Australian Case Law

A key goal of UQ’s Human Trafficking Working Group is to systematically catalogue confirmed and suspected cases of trafficking in persons in Australia.  This work, the only database of its kind in Australia, is published on this website.  The tables below list all confirmed or suspected case, the source of this information, the current stage of the case, the primary charge/matter and the type of trafficking the case can be classified as.  Each case then links to a more detailed report that summarises the facts and outcomes of that case.

To date, there have only been a limited number of prosecutions under Australia’s designated trafficking offences.  This is due in part to the fact that the relevant offences were only introduced into the federal Criminal Code in 2005.  A number of trafficking and trafficking–related cases have also been prosecuted under sexual slavery and servitude offences, which came into operation in 1999.

In addition to the case law involving federal criminal charges, there are also a small number of reported cases concerning state criminal offences, immigration matters and miscellaneous matters (such as workplace or family law disputes) that have facts indicative of an instance of trafficking in persons.

Research Methodology

Cases in this database have been found by systematically searching reported case law, news archives, academic journal articles, and government reports.  Because the relevant offences aimed at targeting trafficking in persons are relatively new, it is often difficult to accurately find and identify confirmed cases of trafficking.  Some cases are included in this database because they contain facts indicative of an incident of trafficking in persons.  Case searches are, by and large, guided by the definition of ‘trafficking in persons’ in Article 3(a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.