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‘I am living proof slavery happens in Australia’

Updated December 02, 2015 10:08:57

A group of Australian religious leaders is launching the Australian Freedom Network right now in Canberra to create practical options to free individuals living enslaved in Australia.

Right now is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, and as a former victim of contemporary day slavery, Sandra was selected to present her story at the launch.

Audio: Australian Freedom Network becoming launched to crackdown on slavery in Australia (AM)

“I am so pleased to be right here as living proof that slavery happens in Australia,” she told AM.

Sandra’s story is about a poor lady with two sons who was provided the chance of a lifetime to work as a housekeeper in Australia.

“They told me that they will help with my permanent residency and they’ll spend me for performing their housework,” she stated.

Sandra trusted her employers to do the right factor but as soon as she arrived in Western Sydney it all started to go undesirable.

“Following three weeks they took my passport,” Sandra mentioned.

“I began performing all their work, all the housework like washing, cleaning, cleaning the swimming pool, seeking right after the dogs, cooking, gardening. I did some gardening. And massaging the lady too.”

Sandra was the modern day equivalent of a slave to the family for three years, she was trapped, a prisoner that was in no way permitted to leave the residence by herself.

“At times I asked for some funds but she was just saying, ‘oh, I have no money’ and the husband didn’t give me cash and stuff,” she mentioned.

“I utilised to go out purchasing with her, just push the trolley, come back house, tidy up all the issues. But not by myself.

“They did control me and a lot of factors. I was scared.

“They had been always swearing, threatening me. And the boys have been constantly fighting with me.”

Neighbours tip off authorities

Sandra was ultimately rescued following, she thinks, a neighbour tipped off the authorities. Her story is sadly not an isolated one.

“A vulnerable individual in a building nation is presented a very good job or a very good chance or a partnership. They go willingly.”

Freedom Partnership to Finish Modern day Slavery, Jenny Stanger

The national manager of the Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery, Jenny Stanger stated she thinks the real number of slaves is significantly larger than what is estimated.

“Nicely the Global Slavery Index final year estimated that about 3,000 individuals are at present enslaved in Australia.”

Ms Stranger mentioned the dilemma spreads across a range of industries including agriculture, construction, hospitality and domestic aid.

“A vulnerable individual in a developing country is presented a great job or a good chance or a connection. They go willingly,” she mentioned.

“And when they get to that destination what they discover is that it really is a bait and switch and that what they had been promised is not what really is delivered.”

The Australian Freedom Network, led by the Salvation Army, is modelled on the Global Freedom Network began by Pope Francis final year.

“We just believed it would be a fantastic notion to bring with each other a extremely, really broad group of faith-primarily based organisations to amplify and genuinely commence to develop a faith movement against slavery in Australia,” Ms Stanger stated.

Sandra’s message is that if she can make it, so also can others whose lives have been blighted by slavery.

“I am also living proof that men and women who have seasoned slavery can obtain several items, contribute to our community and lead a pleased life.”

Subjects: law-crime-and-justice, neighborhood-and-society, social-policy, australia

Very first posted December 02, 2015 10:06:06

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