Targeted Review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth)

Closed 7 Mar 2023

Opened 7 Dec 2022

Feedback updated 11 Sep 2023

We asked

On 13 September 2022, the Attorney-General released the Terms of Reference for a Targeted Review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Targeted Review). On 7 December 2022, the Attorney-General released the discussion paper for the Targeted Review, initiating a 3-month public consultation period. The discussion paper set out key areas of focus for the targeted review and included 42 discussion questions.

Read the Discussion Paper [PDF 1.1MB] for the Targeted Review.

We sought public input through an online survey or via written submission and conducted targeted consultations.

You said

The Targeted Review consultation received 30 written submissions and survey responses. During the consultation period we conducted 16 targeted consultation sessions with interested stakeholders, both in person and online, involving 49 organisations, including government, civil society and academia. We also spoke with victims and survivors.

Submissions to the review, including responses to the online survey, will be published shortly, with the exception of a small number of submissions that are confidential. 

We did

The Targeted Review considered all submissions and responses received as part of the consultation. The findings report is now publicly available. We would like to acknowledge the contribution of participants to the consultation processes.

The report has 22 findings. Key themes informing the findings include:

  • Australia’s modern slavery offences are robust, but could be further modernised to ensure they remain future-proof and can apply more consistently to the conduct of Australians offshore
  • additional guidance could help to build a shared understanding of key concepts and definitions, thereby supporting investigations and prosecutions
  • the offence framework is complex compared to similar jurisdictions
  • the modern slavery offences could be improved to better account for unique cultural and personal circumstances of victims and survivors
  • stakeholders have a strong desire to be consulted on any specific reforms developed to respond to the findings
  • there is support for complementary measures out of the scope of the review, such as remedies for victims and survivors and increasing access to the Support for Trafficked People Program.

Feedback received during the Targeted Review and resulting findings will inform future legal and policy work to strengthen Australia’s response to modern slavery.

Read the findings report for the Targeted Review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) [PDF 1.7MB].

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The Australian Government is carrying out a targeted review of modern slavery offences in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) (the Criminal Code).

This initiative recognises strong criminal justice responses are important to combat modern slavery, ensuring Australia's justice frameworks continue to support effective disruption, investigation and prosecution outcomes. This targeted review supports the government's commitment to strengthen modern slavery responses at home and abroad, and delivers Action Item 19 of Australia’s National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-25.

The government invites written submissions and/or survey responses that address the questions and themes in the Discussion Paper below.

Read the Terms of Reference – Targeted review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code.

The Attorney-General’s Department is leading the targeted review, in collaboration with the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

Why we are consulting

We are seeking feedback and input from the Australian public to inform the targeted review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code. We will use this feedback to inform the development of findings that we will provide to the government for consideration by the end of June 2023.

Who we want to hear from

We are interested in hearing from all members of the community, particularly those with experience of Divisions 270 and 271 including victims and survivors, criminal justice practitioners, civil society organisations, community groups and academia.

How to engage with the consultation process

To provide feedback you can respond to discussion questions in an online survey format or prepare a written submission. If you prepare a written submission, please upload this online. If you have challenges uploading your submission, you can email it to

Follow the 'Have your Say' link at the bottom of this page to respond to discussion questions online or to upload a written submission. You do not have to address all questions.

During the consultation period until 7 March 2023, we are also conducting additional targeted consultation sessions in-person and online. If you are interested in participating in a session, please email

Publishing submissions

You can submit your response under your name or anonymously. We intend to publish responses at the conclusion of the consultation period on our consultation hub. There will be a consent question to confirm whether you agree to your response being made public. If you email us a written submission, please indicate whether you consent to have your submission made public (and whether this is under your name or anonymously).

If you would like part of your feedback to remain in confidence, please provide the confidential information separately and clearly indicate the information you would like to remain confidential. Please refrain from including personal information about other individuals in the body of your submission. Legal requirements, such as those imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth), may affect the confidentiality of your submission.

Note that this targeted review collects your personal information (unless you submit anonymously). This is so we can contact you if we need to clarify aspects of your response, to confirm your consent to the publication of information in your response, or to seek feedback on the consultation process.

Additional consultation channels

To discuss your feedback please contact

During the consultation period, we may also conduct targeted in person and online consultation sessions on particular aspects of the targeted review as required.

The consultation period closes at midnight (AEDT) on 7 March 2023.

To make a report or seek help

If you have immediate concerns for your safety, the safety of another person, or there is an emergency, dial Triple Zero (000).

You can also contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on 131 237 (131AFP) or go to the AFP website at for help. The AFP can keep you safe, provide advice and refer you to other services that provide accommodation, financial support, counselling, and legal and immigration advice.

Read the findings report for the Targeted Review of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) [PDF 1.7MB].


  • Legislation
  • Human rights
  • Criminal law
  • People trafficking
  • Modern slavery