Sex slave claim

A group campaigning for government action against the smuggling of women to work in the Australian sex industry says there is another so-called sex slave in the Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney facing deportation on breaches of the Migration Act.

The co-ordinator of Project Respect, Kathleen Maltzahn, says there has been no attempt made to interview the former sex worker in an attempt to track down who was responsible for bringing her to Australia.

Ms Maltzahn says there are similarities to the Puongtong Simaplee case who committed suicide in Villawood while awaiting deportation.

Last week Sydney coroner, Carl Milovanich, called Ms Puongtong's trafficking "illegal and morally offensive."

Ms Maltzahn says it appears nothing has been learnt from Ms Puongtong's tragic life.

"Friday we had a memorial service for Puongtong Simaplee. That afternoon I was at Villawood and there was a trafficked woman there really worried about being sent home with no support. So it's time, I think, for the government to show that it's learnt the lessons that the coroner has drawn from Puongtong Simaplee's death."

Ms Maltzahn says control of cases involving women who have been trafficked to Australia should be taken away from the Immigration Department.

"They are very restrained by the Migration Act. They are not mandated to do investigations into trafficking. We think the Australian Crime Commission is one body who could take this on, they could co-ordinate national and state responses. They could bring in the welfare arm of government, they could bring in the Tax department, they could bring in a whole lot of organisations that together could have a co-ordinated response."
Source: SBS

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