Overhaul of human trafficking visas ‘will help victims’
Jessica Matthews; 17/6/09
The federal government will today announce an overhaul of human trafficking visa legislation, following claims of human rights violations under the current scheme. The changes, which will take effect on July 1, will give trafficking victims a greater chance of gaining permanent residency in Australia in cases where their safety would be threatened were they to return to their home country. Since it was introduced in January 2004, the People Trafficking Visa Framework has been criticised by advocacy groups for its focus on the criminal justice system and apparent disregard for human rights. Under that scheme, only victims of trafficking who agree to participate and provide “significant information” in criminal proceedings have been offered the three-year temporary visa.