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This report casts a new light on the continued suffering of people who sought safety in Australia by boat, finding that people on the 6-month ‘Final Departure’ Bridging Visa E are at increased risk of labour exploitation and modern slavery, such as wage theft, unpaid overtime, excessive hours, and abusive working conditions.

After years of enduring mistreatment in Manus Island and Nauru, over 1,000 people are now in Australia but continue to be denied stability and the chance to rebuild their lives. Over the past five years over 600 people (including children) have been abruptly cut off from government support and issued with 6-month bridging visas threatening to return them to harm offshore. While the visas are typically renewed upon expiry, this persistent insecurity creates vulnerability that enables labour exploitation to thrive, particularly in sectors such as horticulture, where insecure work and abuse of migrant workers on temporary visas remain rife.

With Australia’s Modern Slavery Act currently under review, the report calls for stronger laws that require companies to take action to prevent modern slavery, and for an end to offshore detention once and for all, including pathways to permanency for people on perpetual bridging visas.

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