As Australia’s slavery crisis deepens, a new research project looks at the import of slave labor from around the world.
The report, called ‘Global Slave Trade: The Importation of Slave Labor From Around the World’, was published on Tuesday.
A number of key findings emerged, including that Australia is the biggest slave buyer of imported slaves in the world, importing more than 4.2 million slaves a year.
The study also found that Australia’s supply of slaves has grown significantly in recent years.
The first shipment of Australian slaves to Britain in 1607 was a slave ship to New York, but the first ship to arrive in Australia in 1824 was a private slave.
The slave trade was once one of the largest international economies, with annual global profits reaching more than $US7 billion.
It was also a major source of revenue for European colonisers, including Britain.
The British exported more than 6.7 million slaves to Africa between 1770 and 1815, but those numbers have been falling ever since.
As the number of slaves sold and bought has fallen, the demand for imported slaves has also fallen.
“There’s a great deal of confusion about the extent to which slavery is imported in Australia,” Dr Sarah Stirling, from the University of Western Sydney, said.
Dr Stirling said the rise in demand was driven by the global rise of the slave trade. “
In the last decade, it’s been difficult to find reliable data to establish what exactly is being imported into Australia.”
Dr Stirling said the rise in demand was driven by the global rise of the slave trade.
“This is mainly due to the rise of China, and the rise on China’s borders of Asian slave traders, mainly from the former British colony of Hong Kong,” she said.
Ms Stirling and Dr Stokes said they were keen to understand the global slave trade from a different perspective.
“We have an internationalised global slave economy and Australia is now a major export destination for many countries,” she explained.
“So, it would be very interesting to understand how many slaves are actually coming in and going out of Australia each year.”
Dr Peter Koonce from the Australian National University’s School of Law said the study’s findings showed the need for a better understanding of the role of slavery in the global economy.
“The more we understand the slave market, the better we can better understand the impact it has on the world economy,” he said.