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Australia: Authorities to investigate alleged exploitation of Fijian workers 'deceptively recruited' on farms

Author: Leonie Thorne & Prianka Srinivasan, ABC News, Published on: 18 November 2019

"Australian federal authorities probing alleged exploitation of Fijian villagers on Victorian farms", 15 November 2019

Australian authorities are investigating whether dozens of workers from small, remote Fijian villages may be victims of labour exploitation after allegedly being deceptively recruited to work on farms in north-west Victoria...

...While Australian Federal Police (AFP) and Australian Border Force (ABF) investigations are ongoing, a local Victorian MP said worker exploitation was a "chronic" issue in the Sunraysia region...

...people familiar with the workers in the case told the ABC the Fijians reportedly paid roughly $FJ2,300 ($1,545) to a travel agent...who obtained tourist visas for them rather than working visas.

Upon arrival, it is believed they moved into accommodation organised by an Australia-based contractor, where they began work picking fruit on farms...

...People familiar with the workers told the ABC they had to pay more than $100 rent per week for the accommodation, in addition to transportation fees to get to and from the farms for work...

...a Fijian-Australian who...assisted the workers, told the ABC that the workers told him they'd been "tricked" as they thought they were paying the travel agent for the correct visa...

Read the full post here