Traders in sex slaves face jail

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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIA IS to introduce jail sentences of up to 25 years to confront a growing trade in sex slaves. The plan follows increasing evidence that young Asian women are being illegally smuggled into the country and forced into prostitution.

A recent government report said that up to 300 young women from Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia had been forced into prostitution in the red light King's Cross district of Sydney and in other state capitals after jobs they were promised by racketeers failed to materialise.

The report said many of the women were kept against their will in brothels and were forced to hand over their earnings. One woman told of having to pay back more than pounds 17,000.

"People who've been brought to Australia from elsewhere using false immigration documents find when they get here they've got no real documents, they can't get help and they are required to work as prostitutes for very low wages," said Australia's Justice Minister, Amanda Vanstone.

Proposals will come before parliament this year to impose prison terms of up to 25 years for those involved in sex slavery, with 15 years for keeping adult sex slaves through force, threats or deception. "These are very serious penalties and so they should be because in a modern country and a free country like Australia there is no place for slavery," added Ms Vanstone.

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