Australia has tight human resources and high wage standards, so it attracts backpackers, seasonal workers and many international students to work to make money, but the subsequent labor exploitation and slavery have become more and more prominent.

Recently, various sectors of Australia have paid great attention to the problem of overseas labor exploitation, and various investigation reports and media reports have appeared frequently.

The survey found that the phenomenon of exploitation is very common. Workers from 107 countries have been exploited. Among them, Asian backpackers and students from China and Hong Kong are more serious.

Exploitation and slavery occur in all industries, especially the food and fruit and vegetable picking industries. One-third of backpackers and one-quarter of international students have experienced wage exploitation while working, and the hourly wage is less than $12, which is almost half the minimum standard!

In the fruit and vegetable picking industry, backpackers are even more exploited. 31% of backpackers earn less than $10 an hour, and one-seventh of them earn less than $5 an hour! Because if they want to get the second working holiday visa, they can only swallow for 88 days. Employers take advantage of this.

Recently, an investigation report called Hidden in Plain Sight was submitted to the parliament, which put forward as many as 49 recommendations, calling on the federal government to take relevant measures as soon as possible to combat labor exploitation. The main contents include:

  • Following the example of the United Kingdom, introduce a bill on labor exploitation and modern slavery to compensate victims;
  • It is mandatory for Australian companies with an annual turnover of more than A$5 million to publicly report to prove that there are no problems of exploitation and slavery in the entire supply chain. For example, large supermarkets such as Woolworths and Coles must check whether their product supply companies have exploited and enslaved them, and prevent the exploitation of workers in order to reduce costs;
  • Overseas orphan care institutions must be registered with the Australian government to prevent orphans from being exploited and enslaved by organizing orphans to travel to Australia;
  • Labor intermediaries need to hold certificates to work;
  • Provide training to relevant agencies, including the judiciary, the police and the immigration bureau, to detect and eliminate signs of exploitation in a timely manner;
  • Review and revise the visa framework related to overseas workers, including working holiday visas, seasonal work visas, 457 visas and student visas. Remove certain tied visa clauses, such as requiring employer guarantees and signatures, to reduce the opportunity for employers to exploit labor.

The Minister of Justice stated that the government is seriously considering the content of the report and will respond in due course.

For international students, many times they have to endure exploitation because they worry that their visa will be affected. The Fair Work Ombudsman of Australia (Fair Work Ombudsman) calls on international students to bravely stand up and seek help if they encounter problems while working.

Natalie James of the Fair Work Ombudsman said that the Fair Work Ombudsman has reached an agreement with the Immigration Bureau. If international students encounter exploitation at work, they can report it. Even if they have overtime problems, their visas will not be automatically cancelled.

In addition, FWO has also set up an anonymous reporting channel, in addition to English, there are 16 languages ​​available. If you encounter problems at work, you can directly report anonymously in your native language, and your personal identity will not be disclosed.


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I hope everyone who works in Australia can have a pleasant experience!

News compiled from "news"


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