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First person jailed under new Federal sex slave laws.
SENATOR THE HON CHRIS ELLISON MINISTER FOR JUSTICE AND CUSTOMS MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT BUSINESS IN THE SENATE SENATOR FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 â¢ Telephone: (02) 6277 7260 Facsimile: (02) 6273 7098
First Person Jailed Under New Federal Sex Slave Laws
The Victorian County Court jury finding of guilt against Ms Wei Tang for possessing sex slaves and the ten year sentence handed down today has been welcomed by the Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison.
“This conviction represents the first person to be found guilty by a jury of the offences of sex slavery and sexual servitude introduced by the Howard Government, and is a welcome landmark in the federal government’s fight against sex slavery, and the international sex slavery trade,” Senator Ellison said.
The 44 year old woman was convicted of a total of ten charges of possessing and owning sex slaves under the sexual servitude provisions introduced into the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act 1995.
“Today’s conviction is the result of concerted efforts by the Australian Federal Police, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to identify possible victims of this heinous crime and bring the perpetrators to justice,” Senator Ellison said.
The conviction comes after the recent release of the US Trafficking in Persons Report, which recognises the Australian Government’s strong stance against people trafficking and related crimes.
“The Report describes Australia as a ‘prominent leader’ in many regional projects aimed at combating people trafficking and recognises that the Government provides ‘regular, systematic and specialised training for law enforcement officials on the identification of trafficking’,” Senator Ellison said.
The Report highlights that Australia:
- strengthened its domestic trafficking laws during 2005; - continues to pursue trafficking-related prosecutions; - provides a ‘comprehensive package of care for trafficking victims, their immediate family members or witnesses’ in people trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and;
- supports strong prevention efforts in source countries as well as in Australia.
“This decision sends a strong warning, and demonstrates the Howard Government’s commitment to stamping out sex slavery and sexual servitude,” Senator Ellison said.
Media inquiries: Duncan Bremner: (02) 6277 7260 / 0409 003 084