Parlours spark concern - Maroondah Leader

Fears over possibility of trafficking

ILLEGAL brothels are exploiting women in the sex industry who are being trafficked from overseas and used as sex slaves.

Christine Teo from Templestowe runs Generation 414, a social enterprise offering organic, ethical and fairtrade items handmade by survivors of trafficking.

She said she suspected some massage parlours were masquerading as illegal brothels.

“It’s definitely a problem area especially when you see these suburban massage parlours open until late at night with cars parked outside,” Ms Teo said.

“These places could be exploiting women who have been trafficked into Australia,” she said.

Ms Teo, who has travelled overseas to work with NGOs and law enforcement agencies to help victims of trafficking, said she was shocked by some of the conditions she found.

“On one of my trips I encountered a woman who was trafficked into Greece from China,” she said.

“She was promised a job there but she was lied to and fell into a life of slavery.

“Headhunters visit poverty-stricken regions and approach women to promise them jobs and a better life in other countries.

“But, the reality is that these women are forced to work 16-hour days, sometimes as sex slaves with minimal sleep and food,” she said.

A spokesman from the Attorney-General’s Department confirmed Australia was traditionally a destination country for human trafficking and slavery.

“The majority of trafficked people identified by Australian authorities have been women from Asia who have been exploited within the sex work industry, in both legal and illegal brothels,” he said.

Story by Suzan Delibasic

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