Australia is to introduce tough penalties, including jail sentences of up to 25 years, to confront what it says is a growing trade in sex slaves, reports The Guardian.
“The crackdown follows increasing evidence of young Asian women being brought to Australia and forced into sex slavery in Sydney’s red light King’s Cross district and other state capitals.
“A recent report said that up to 300 young women from Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia had been forced into prostitution in King’s Cross after legitimate jobs they had been promised by racketeers failed to materialise. It said many of the women were kept against their will in brothels and were forced to hand over their earnings. One woman gave evidence of having to pay back more than £17,000. According to the Justice Department, many Asian prostitutes are women who simply want to begin a new life outside their homeland.
“People who’ve been brought to Australia from elsewhere using false immigration documents find when they get here they’ve got no real documents, they can’t get help and they are required to work as prostitutes for very low wages,” said Justice Minister Amanda Vanstone.
“The authorities say they intend to impose prison terms of up to 25 years for anyone involved in actual sex slavery, 15 years for keeping sex slaves through force, threats or deception – unless the victim was under 18 years old. The maximum jail term would then be 19 years.”
Full story at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/248763.st