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Modern slavery is a violation of human rights and is considered a serious crime under international and Australian law. It affects millions of people worldwide and can occur in any work or industry.

Here is a list of commonly used terms across this website and in the anti-slavery space.

Click on each one for an in-depth definition.

Modern Slavery

Modern Slavery involves one person treating another as if they owned them.

They can use threats, lies and coercion to force you to provide labour, services, or commercial sex acts for their own profit.


Servitude is similar to the definition of forced labour, but describes other situations in which someone is trapped in work or service for someone that they cannot escape from.

Servitude can involve the use of psychological or emotional control, as well as physical violence or threats.

Forced Labor

Forced labour refers to situations where someone is made to work through the use of force, fraud or coercion.

This can include physical violence or threats, as well as psychological or emotional coercion.

Forced labour is typically associated with labour exploitation, and it can occur in a range of industries, including agriculture, mining, construction, and domestic work, among others.

Human Trafficking

The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receiving of people by using force, fraud or coercion in order to exploit them.

Debt Bondage

When someone forces you to work to pay off a debt without defining how to repay it, or making it difficult or even impossible to repay in a fair way.

The 'debt' is often something that is not real, but they convince you it is.

Forced Marriage

Forced marriage is when one or both people are pressured into a marriage against their will.

This can involve physical or emotional coercion, threats, or deception.

The people being forced to marry may be adults or children, and may be coerced by their families, communities, or other parties.

Organ Trafficking

Organ trafficking is the illegal trade of human organs, usually for transplants.

Organs are removed from living or deceased people without their consent, or with the consent obtained by coercion, deception, or other illegal means. The organs are then sold on the black market to patients in need of organ transplants, often at exorbitant prices.

Sexual Servitude

Sexual servitude refers to a form of modern slavery where someone is forced, coerced, or deceived into providing sexual services. This can include any form of commercial sex work (full service, massage, online etc).

Sexual servitude often involves physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as the threat of harm to a person or their loved ones if they attempt to escape or stop working.

Deceptive Recruitment

Deceptive recruitment is when someone tricks or recruits you for work under false pretenses. Often, they promise high-paying jobs, good working conditions, or other benefits that turn out to be lies.

The Australian Federal Police website provides further information on issues of human trafficking.

Find out more about exploitation, human trafficking and modern slavery:

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