Two forums covering modern day slavery issues

Delivered by Roscoe Howell, Slavery Links Australia Inc

FORUM 1: Forms of modern day slavery

Tuesday 22 May 2012, Bradley Forum

  Podcast available HERE
  (MP3) 24Mb (or right click and select 'save target as' to download)
  Interview with ABC Overnights
Pre-recorded 13 July, Broadcast 3.35 am 14 July 2012
  (MP3) 9Mb (click to listen or right click and save)
  2015 exhibition: Are you wearing a slave?
An exhibition for the abolition of slavery


Slavery did not end 200 years ago. There are 27 million slaves in the world today - poor and vulnerable people who are owned, bonded or trafficked - children, women, men, child soldiers, sex slaves, debt slaves.  Some slaves are moved around the world. Many are enslaved close to where they were born, trapped by systems that have allowed child trading, debt bondage and forced marriage to persist for generations. Other forms of slavery (such as domestic service or organ trafficking) have only been recognised quite recently. Each form has its own definition, cause, solution and organisation responsible for tackling it. Slavery means that one person owns another. What does it mean to be owned? What is bondage and why is it slavery? Where does trafficking fit in the big picture of slavery? Who has the power to stop it happening?

This address will cover the forms of modern slavery and how people can bring change.

FORUM 2: Where and how Australians encounter modern slavery

Wednesday 23 May 2012, Bradley Forum

Australians may encounter modern slavery in three ways:

  1. Within Australia
    • Sometimes people are married too young or trapped into forced marriage
    • Criminals bring workers into Australia with the false promise of good jobs. They trick and trap women into the sex industry or men into forced labour
    • Humanitarian entrants may have lost family members to some form of slavery. People from Afghanistan, Burma, Congo, Sudan, Sri Lanka or the Gulf may have direct experience of child labour, child soldiery or forced labour
  2. When travelling
    • Australians who travel overseas may encounter child labour or forced labour or sex trafficking or debt bonded labour or medical tourism / organ trafficking
  3. Australian business and purchase decisions affect economies in our Region.
    • We can act cruelly or contribute to slave-like working conditions without realising

What can Australians do about slavery? This address will help you to recognise slavery and what you can do when you meet it.


Roscoe is the public officer of Slavery Links Australia Inc. He is the author of Australians and modern slavery, which has a Foreword by The Hon Catherine Branson, QC, (President of the Australian Human Rights Commission) and illustrations by Reg Lynch.

Roscoe encourages his audiences to use fair trade tea, coffee and chocolate on all occasions. Fair trade products can cost a bit more than mass market products. But, he says, fair trade is a simple way to ensure we promote just working conditions back through the supply chain.

While the views presented by speakers within the Hawke Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia or The Hawke Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: strengthening our democracy - valuing our diversity - and building our future.

The copying and reproduction of any transcripts within the Hawke Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.