Tourism & Sex Slavery in Australia

Sex tourism by Australian men and women overseas and human trafficking of women into the country for forced sexual exploitation are problems that exist in the Australian community. Sex tourism happens when Australian men and women travel to international locations for sex based holidays in countries where laws about sexual consent and age are not enforced or are ignored. Sex tourism can be reduced by educating potential participant groups about the plight of victims in popular sex tourist destinations. No Slavery Australia recognises that legal brothels and escort services, sex workers, and clients to the services are the front line defence, and the best chance of eliminating demand for trafficked persons into the sex industry in Australia. No one benefits from sex slavery except the small amount of traffickers involved, it is in everybody’s interest to eliminate demand for trafficked person. FOR LEGAL OPERATORS AND SEX WORKERS what slavery means to you

  • Illegal operators using sex slavery can afford to charge less for services, this pushes down price expectation of all other operators, this means reduced profits for operators and reduced payment for workers.
  • Human trafficking is an important reason the sex industry is often held in such poor esteem by many in the community.
  • Human trafficking is an important reason for increased regulation of the industry. It is so shocking and has huge media and political appeal, that disproportionate and ineffective regulations can be suggested and implemented without public scrutiny.
  • Increased regulation means increased expense for operators and workers.
  • Increased regulation may make the industry more difficult to work in, especially in areas such as remaining anonymous as a sex worker
  • Increased regulation may make the industry more dangerous, pushing illegal operators underground
  • Human trafficking is an important argument for abolition and criminalising the industry.
  • Operators who use trafficked persons are less likely to focus on other important areas such as hygiene and disease control. This adds weight to the above issues and may transfer through clients to your staff or your self.
  • All these issues make it more difficult for the industry to be properly recognised and managed.
  • All these issues means that governments will continue to keep the industry at arm’s length, meaning less rights and entitlements for sex workers and operators.

what you can do to help

  • Be vigilant and aware of unscrupulous operators. Report any incident that seems suspicious, you can remain anonymous.
  • Talk to your staff/peers and encourage them to report any suspicious incidents that they may know of.
  • Support Sex worker outreach programs in your area
  • Print our “freedom fighter” cards and make them available to your clients, in rooms or at the point of sale.
  • Do not just turn your back and mind your own business, human trafficking is adversely affecting your business and industry. Act now, the AFP task force is sensitive to your situation. You can remain anonymous
  • This website is easily translatable by clicking the translate toolbar at the top of every page, translate the information for victims page and print it in the appropriate language for the victim you know of, print a few different languages if you are unsure of their ethnicity.


  • Operators who use trafficked women for forced sex slavery are unlikely to treat other aspects of their business professionally either.
  • These operators may not focus on hygiene such as cleaning sheets, or on disease control including but not limited to STD’s.
  • You are supporting organised crime, you can become entangled in this very easily.
  • Men may get some sexual pleasure from the idea that women are  forced into sex. This is difficult to reason with as an imagination is difficult to understand, (as enjoying murder mystery movies does not necessarily mean you like murder and mystery in real life). Regardless of the reasoning behind your desires, not reporting suspicious cases, and continuing to engage the services of sex slavery is wrong. The is no justification, NONE. Report sex slavery here you can remain anonymous you must do it immediately as women are moved around frequently to avoid authorities.
  • The AFP task force is sensitive to your circumstance and we all thank you for taking the very difficult step in stopping slavery. You are the only people in the community who knows where and who creating these horrible conditions for these poor people. You are the front line, do not worry about embarrassment, we all thank you, you are these poor peoples only hope.

What you can do to help

  • Report any suspicious behaviour or incidences.
  • Never attempt to rescue a victim, remain calm and contact the AFP taskforce without alerting the operator as soon as possible.
  • Be aware of the warning signs, enslaved sex workers may be obviously scared, hidden, bruised, or miss treated
  • Educate you teenage sons about sex slavery, find information for parents here, they may be visiting cheap brothels soon
  • Understand that any urge or desire to exert sexual power over a women is wrong, and an idea that has developed in your head as a result of unknown and uncontrollable causes, such as attitudes in pornography, upbringing etc. There is no justification for continuing to act on these desires, by reporting incidences you can remain anonymous and help fix this terrible problem. You will be a hero, although probably an anonymous one!
  • Do not attempt to justify sex slavery, there is no justification, even if workers knew they were going into sex work. If their basic human rights are removed and they fear for their lives and safety, this is slavery and this is illegal. Think of your mothers, sisters, daughters and if they were in this situation, these are real people, you may be the only one who can help them out of their situation.
  • Only visit establishments that are legal and registered. Especially if they are activly promoting awareness of human trafficking.
  • This website is easily translatable by clicking the translate toolbar at the top of every page, translate the information for victims page and print it in the appropriate language for the victim you know of, print a few different languages if you are unsure of their ethnicity.

FACTS Sex slavery, human trafficking and bonded labour are happening in the Australian adult industry. Because of the nature of this crime and the sex industry itself, accurate research is limited. Prostitution is legal in Australia, however many operators are operating illegally and are actively trafficking women into the country to be forced to work as sex slaves. It is difficult to establish numbers, however it is estimated that 100* to 1000** women per year are being trafficked into the country to be enslaved as sex workers. It is a complex problem for authorities to solve. Increasing regulatory powers could potentially push the illegal operators further underground, and put victims into increasingly dangerous conditions.  No Slavery Australia is calling for self regulation, amongst legal operators, sex workers and clients. Sex workers and industry members should be supported and resourced to mange the problem within their industry. The Scarlet Alliance, who is the peak industry body for sex workers has previously managed important issues such as disease within the industry.

  • Because of the stigma and controversy surrounding the sex industry, this problem is continuously put into the “to hard basket”
  • Some women are encouraged to enter Australia with offers of waitress jobs, and some know that they will be working in the sex industry. Regardless of the pre-tenses, if someone is being held against their will and their basics rights such as freedom are being deprived, then this is slavery and is illegal.
  • Women are sometimes in a horrendous situations. Raped, abused and terrified, threatened with violence to themselves or their families.
  • Victims may have their passports taken from them, most can not speak English, they are lied to by traffickers who may tell them that they will be arrested by Australian authorities if they escape.
  • The majority of women may be aware that they are coming to Australia to work in the sex industry, however when they arrive they are plced under debt bondage and into dangerous working conditions. Consent is not justification, and this slavery is still illegal.
  • There is a program in place to support victims of human trafficking in Australia. They can receive help with Visa applications, and medical treatment for example.

What can we do as a community?

  • Create awareness of the problem, so it becomes important enough for politicians to consider it an important issue that will attract voter interest.
  • Educate and discuss sex tourism and sex slavery with our young men. Young men are a most likely to encounter people in forced sexual servitude. They need to be vigilant and aware of the signs of slavery, along with informed about how to safely report it.
  • Support initiatives which include industry members working to eradicate the problem through self regulation
  • Similar resources and punishments should be allocated to criminals trading humans, as they are to criminals trading weapons or drugs. Human trafficking creates money for organised crime syndicates and must be stopped.
  • Advocate for increased support services for victims or human trafficking into the Australian sex industry.
  • Zero tolerance to obtaining sexual services internationally for military personel.

   * Estimation by Scarlet Alliance, based on industry knowledge ** Estimation by Project Respect Victoria, based on field work conducted in the Melbourne Sex Industry

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