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Up to 200 Asians victims were brought illegally into Australia to operate 
as prostitutes in the ACT, Sydney, Melbourne and Queenslans, according to 
a parliamentary report.

The report on Human Rights in Burma issued yesterday by the Joint 
Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade alleges 
that the women were brought to Australia on false documents accompanied 
by men posing as their husbands or boyfriends.

The committee received evidence of significant organised trafficking of 
women and girls into Australia linked to suspected drug traffickers.

many of the women are from the poor hill tribes in northern Thailand and 
Burma and were often indebted to the organisers for more than $15,000 in 
passport and travel costs.

According to the report their movement was restricted by heavy security 
and many were being kept against their will.

The committee has recommended that the Government enact legis;ation to 
target the traffickers in women and children and not just the pimps who 
stand over them once they arrive.

Australia is a signatory to a number of United Nations' conventions and 
treaties relating to the trafficking in women and girls but there is no 
legisaltion in this country covering the trafficking.

Committee chairman Roger Price (Lab) was critical of the Department of 
Immigration and Ethnic Affairs which detains offending women under the 
Migration Act and then deports them if they are not granted a protection 

"These women shouldn't be just hunted down and deported they should be 
rehabilitated because they are the victims,"Mr Price said.

The committee recommends that the Government put in place, programs which 
would recognise Australia's responsibilities for the protection and 
rehabilititation of the victims of trafficking. It said the Government 
should consider their status as victims when considering applications for 
a humanitarian visa. Mr price said Thailand, which was strongly 
criticised in the report, was crucial to the process of eliminating the 
trafficking of women and girls.

In addition to new legisaltion the committee recommended that the 
Government encourage Australian embassies to tighten passport and visa 

[By IAN McPHEDRAN, Foreign Affairs Reporter].

(THE CANBERRA TIMES, Friday, October 27, 1995).


(Notes: The SLORC and the Burmese Embassy in Australia are responsible 
for those Burmese women and girls in the report because they came with 
the Burmese passports and they are Burmese from the poor hills.)