International

The Court noted this case serves as a good example of modern forms of slavery that entail more than merely the exploitation of another. The Court of Appeal finds that the exercise of power attaching to the right of ownership is not a single, discrete act and the indicia of slavery found in this case are sufficient to determine whether the accused intended to purport to exercise a power attaching to the right of ownership and aid in the determination of the condition of slavery. The NSW Court of Criminal Appeal has sent a strong message about the need for clear direction on the matter of intent.

  • R v Tang [2008] HCA 39 (Unreported, Gleeson CJ, Gummow, Kirby, Hayne, Heydon, Crennan and Kiefel JJ, 28 August 2008) 

Wei Tang, the brothel owner, recruited five Thai women to work in Australia as sex workers in accordance with a recruitment agreement which specified that each woman would have to work off a debt. They were not held under lock and key, though their passports and return air tickets were withheld by Tang. Tang was convicted of internationally possessing and exercising an ownership over a slave. The High Court of Australia considered the concept of "slavery" in the context of decisions given by the ICTY and the European Court of Human Rights in Kunarac and Siliadin v France respectively. The High Court concluded that the definition found in the Slavery Convention applies to both de jure and de facto slavery. 

This case involves Korean victims being trafficked to work in Sydney brothels. It was alleged that the trafficked women were forced to work up to twenty hours a day in pursuance to an artificially inflated contract debt of approximately AUD 10,000–40,000.