'Australia a source and destination for human trafficking for sexual servitude'

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Melbourne, Jun 18 (ANI): Australia has been named as a source and destination for human trafficking for sexual servitude and forced labour by the US State Department.

It said women from Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and China - and to a lesser extent Eastern Europe - were forced into slavery after migrating to Australia voluntarily with the intention of working legally.

However, the State department praised Australia for increasing efforts to combat human trafficking.

A State Department report said organised crime gangs coerced women and men into "bonded labour "or" debt bondage.

And the department said it has for the first time identified an Australian citizen in the US as a human trafficking victim.

The victim was a woman, but no other details were revealed. The report also chided Australia for tolerating prostitution among young Aboriginal girls, The Courier Mail reports.

"Australia is a source and destination country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically exploitation in forced prostitution, and, to a lesser extent, women and men in forced labour and children in commercial sexual exploitation," it said.

"It is also a source country for child victims of sex trafficking. Primarily teenage girls, but also some boys, are forced into prostitution by pimps. Some indigenous teenage girls are exploited in prostitution at rural truck stops," The US state department report said.

The UN estimates there are 12.3 million people in forced labour, bonded labour and commercial sexual servitude. (ANI)

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