On 2 December 2015, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement (the committee) initiated an inquiry into human trafficking, which lapsed at the end of the 44th Parliament. The committee had received a number of submissions to the inquiry at the time the inquiry lapsed.
On 12 October 2016, during the 45th Parliament, the committee reinstated this inquiry. The committee resolved that all correspondence that it received in the 44th Parliament, including documents accepted as submissions, would be considered in respect of the current inquiry. The committee also resolved to accept additional submissions to the current inquiry.
The terms of reference for the inquiry were as follows:
Pursuant to the committee's functions set out in paragraph 7(1)(g) of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Act 2010, the committee will examine Commonwealth law enforcement responses to human trafficking, including slavery, slavery-like practices (such as servitude, forced marriage and forced labour) and people trafficking, to and from Australia.
In particular, the committee examined:
1. the prevalence of human trafficking in Australia, including in culturally and linguistically diverse communities;
2. the role and effectiveness of Commonwealth law enforcement agencies in responding to human trafficking;
3. practical measures and policies that would address human trafficking;
4. the involvement of organised crime, including transnational organised crime, in human trafficking;
5. the extent to which human trafficking is facilitated by: a. migration visas (including marriage, partner, student and work visas), b. technology, and c. false identities;
6. the effectiveness of relevant Commonwealth legislation and policies; and
7. other related issues