Sex slavery, human trafficking still rife in Australia

Sydney, Dec. 4 (ANI): An inquiry has been launched over a number of societal problems including sex slavery and forced marriages, which are still persistent in Australia.

The NSW Community Relations Commission is holding an inquiry into human trafficking and many other issues, of which there are an estimated 1000 cases a year in Australia, NSW Minister for Women Pru Goward has said.

Goward said that victims of trafficking are often forced marry men they may not know, in some cases by threats of rape or murder aimed at them or their families.

"These types of violence are considered to be an international problem, but that is not the case," the Herald Sun quoted Goward, as saying in a forum.

"No ethnic group has a monopoly on violence against women, but some groups experience violence against women disproportionately," she added.

According to the paper, Goward urged members of the community to come forward with any information about trafficking or forced marriage.

There were many reasons women did not report violence against women in their communities, she said.

"They may be unaware the violence is unlawful; they fear vilification, or that they will be humiliated in the community," she added.

She also said forced marriage was a separate issue from arranged marriage, which was common in many ethnic communities with both partners giving full consent, the paper said. (ANI)