Kuala Lampur — Modern-day slavery victims should not fear Australian authorities despite a major crackdown on unscrupulous labour brokers who exploit foreign workers, a senior official for the country’s border force said on Tuesday. Dozens of people have been detained or deported following raids by the Australian Border Force (ABF), which launched Operation Battenrun in December to target illegal exploitation of foreign workers, said James Copeman, an ABF commander. “More than anything, this operation is about protecting people,” Copeman said. “If we do have someone who is a victim of human trafficking, we have some appropriate provisions in place to ensure their safety and security.”

Australia is home to about 15,000 victims of modern-day slavery — from forced labour and sexual exploitation to domestic servitude — according to the Global Slavery Index by Walk Free. Human trafficking and worker exploitation are most common in agriculture, construction and the sex industries, ...

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