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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13075

Petition: Human Trafficking

Dear Mr Murphy

Thank you for your letter of 23 August 2012 to the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform, the Hon Jenny Macklin about a petition recently submitted for the consideration of the Standing Committee on Petitions regarding compensation for survivors of human trafficking. Your letter was referred to me as support for trafficked people falls within my portfolio responsibilities. I apologise for the delay in responding.

The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is responsible for administering the Support for Trafficked People Program (Support Program). The Support Program assists clients to meet their basic needs for safety, food, accommodation, mental and physical health and wellbeing through case management services provided by the Australian Red Cross.

As the service provider for the Support Program, the Red Cross provides a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, national response within all states and territories in Australia to urgently assist clients if required.

The Support Program is available to all victims of trafficking who meet the eligibility criteria, regardless of their gender, the purpose for which they were trafficked, their visa status and, initially, whether they are willing and/or able to assist with an investigation and prosecution. The Support Program will receive a total of $4.2 million in funding from 2011-12 to 2014-15.

As at 27 September 2012, a total of 199 clients have been referred to the Support Program since 2004. Currently, 61 clients are being supported on the Program. I am happy to provide more information on the Support Program if required.

I have referred your letter to the Attorney-General, Minister for Emergency Management, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, as the issue of compensation falls within her portfolio responsibilities.

Thank you again for writing.

from the Minister for Community Services, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development and Minister for the Status of Women, Ms Collins