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Report on review of modern slavery criminal offences released

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Today the Government released the findings of the targeted review of Australia’s modern slavery criminal offences following a public consultation process.

The review focused on Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995. These Divisions criminalise slavery, trafficking in persons and a range of slavery-like practices, reflecting Australia’s obligations under international law and commitment to eliminating this abhorrent conduct.

The review recognised that Australia has a robust criminal offence framework to address modern slavery practices, and identified potential improvements for consideration.

The Government is committed to ensuring the offence framework continues to support effective disruption, investigation and prosecution outcomes, and will consider the recommendations for reform.

The review was completed by the Attorney General’s Department in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and contributes to implementing Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-25. It also benefited from many stakeholder submissions and targeted consultation sessions.

The 22 findings set out in the report will inform future legal and policy work to continue to strengthen Australia’s response to modern slavery.

The Targeted Review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) can be found on the Department’s website.

Additional support

Help is available for any person experiencing, or at risk of, human trafficking or other forms of modern slavery.

The AFP can keep you safe, provide advice and refer you to support services. Call 131 237 (131 AFP). If you have immediate concerns for your safety or the safety of someone else, call Triple 0 (000).

If you suspect that another person is experiencing, or at risk of, human trafficking or modern slavery, call 131 AFP (237) or use the AFP’s confidential online form.

If you are in, or at risk of, forced marriage, visit for support and free, confidential legal advice.