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Modern Slavery

Updated: Oct 2, 2023


Recently a husband and wife were jailed for 6 and 8 years for keeping a woman in forced labour at their Mount Waverley home for nearly nine years. She had travelled from India on a tourist visa, but was compelled to look after their household including three children. The woman was kept in squalid conditions where she was forced to cook, clean, and care for the couple's children over an eight-year period before she collapsed and was taken to hospital, weighing just 40 kilograms.

Modern slavery is all around us, often hidden in plain sight. People can become enslaved making our clothes, serving our food, picking our crops, working in factories, or working in houses as cooks, cleaners or nannies. Victims of modern slavery might face violence or threats, be forced into inescapable debt, or have their passport taken away and face being threatened with deportation. It is estimated that there are 50 million enslaved people worldwide – one third of them children, and half of these in Asia. In Australia the estimate of people enslaved in 2023 is 40,000. Keep your eyes open!

Fr Kevin Toomey, OP

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