Catherine, Angry and Peter meet young fishermen on Rote Island in Indonesia.
SBS Learn
15 Jun 2015 - 4:23 PM  UPDATED 24 Sep 2015 - 11:49 AM

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In clip 7, Catherine, Angry and Peter meet young fishermen on Rote Island in Indonesia. John and Ako were recruited for a fishing trip that would pay them a year’s wages. The boys were never paid and instead they were jailed in adult prisons in Australia, for people smuggling.



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Attitudes, Ethics and Citizenship

Question 1 

The experience in an Australian adult prison must have been terrifying for the two teenage fishermen. Imagine you are one of the boys in prison. Write a letter home to your family explaining what happened and how you ended up in prison. 

Question 2 

There are many different perspectives on how to deal with people smugglers assisting asylum seekers into Australia. Research these different perspectives and explain whether you believe they are effective solutions. 

Question 3 

There has been much outrage in the community around the detaining of juvenile fishermen in Australian adult prisons. Write a letter to the Attorney General expressing your sentiments on the issue. 



Democracy, Duty and National Values

Question 4 

People smuggling in Australia carries a mandatory five-year sentence. Do you think this is an effective deterrent to people smugglers? Do you think it is a fair sentence? 

Question 5 

What strategies do you think the Australian government could utilise to better educate those living in Indonesian fishing villages about the dangers of people smuggling? 

Question 6

Peter questions how we can call the two young boys ‘people smugglers’. With no motive and no understanding of what they were doing, the sentence they received seems harsh and disproportionate to the ‘crime’. What better way could the Australian government deal with those who are unknowingly caught up in people smuggling?



Human Rights, World Issues and Responsibilities

Question 7

The boys in this clip were released after 14 months because it was proved they were children. However, people smugglers will continue to entice Indonesian fishermen, including children, to crew people-smuggling boats. Describe the methods people smugglers use to attract and deceive unsuspecting fishermen? Why are these
villagers vulnerable in this situation?

Question 8

The Australian Human Rights Commission recently held an inquiry into why Indonesian crew who say they are children are being held in adult prisons in Australia. Read this summary of the report and come up with three recommendations for the Australian Government on how to handle underage crew of asylum-seeker

Question 9

This article about the trial of a people smuggler highlights some of the complexities of the issue. Write one paragraph discussing why people smuggling is a bad thing, and one paragraph discussing why people smuggling is a good thing. Then write a final paragraph concluding whether people smuggling is bad, good or somewhere in

Question 10

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime identifies several tools for international action against people smuggling. Go to the website and make a list of each of these tools and write a brief explanation of what each tool provides.


Download Class Activities PDF 



Australian Federal Police: Police Smuggling fact sheet
UNSW Submission to the Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Removal of Mandatory Minimum Penalties) Bill 2012
Australian Human Rights Commission: Age assessment in people smuggling cases
Australian Institute of Criminology: Organised Crime and People Smuggling/Trafficking to Australia