Felicity Gerry, Narelle Sherwill

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Both Australia and Indonesia have made commitments to combatting human trafficking.  Through the experience of Mary Jane Veloso it can be seen that it is most often the vulnerable ‘mule’ that is apprehended by law enforcement and not the powerful leaders of crime syndicates. It is unacceptable that those vulnerable individuals may face execution for acts committed under threat of force, coercion, fraud, deception or abuse of power. For this reason it is vital that a system of victim identification is developed, including better training for law enforcement, legal representatives and members of the judiciary. This paper builds on submissions by authors for Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into Human Trafficking, and focusses on issues arising in the complex cross section of human trafficking, drug trafficking, and the death penalty with particular attention on identifying victims and effective reporting mechanisms in both Australia and Indonesia. It concludes that, in the context of human trafficking both countries could make three main improvements to law and policy, among others, 1) enactment of laws that create clear mandatory protection for human trafficking victims; 2) enactment of criminal laws that provides complete defence for victim of human trafficking; 3) enactment of corporate reporting mechanisms. Systemic protection and support is not sufficiently available without clear legislative protection as this paper suggests together with standardised referral mechanisms and effective financial reporting mechanisms. The implementation can be achieved through collaborative responses and inter-agency coordination with data collection and properly trained specialists.


human trafficking; drug trafficking; death penalty; victims protection


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ISSN: 2356-2129