Student visa sex slavery claims investigated

China Visa and Passport 

Australia's student visa program will be investigated following allegations that women entering Australia on student visas are being forced into the sex industry.

Earlier this month, the ABC's Four Corners program aired allegations that criminal gangs lure women to Australia and then force them into slavery in Sydney and Melbourne brothels.

It said that if they refuse, the women are beaten and their families are threatened.

The Immigration Department routinely carries out compliance operations in the sex industry with the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

The operations are designed to ensure brothel owners are not employing foreign nationals working without a valid visa.

But Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says following this month's "particularly serious and disturbing allegations", a thorough analysis will be done.

"Allegations of illegal work and the exploitation of workers in any industry by unscrupulous employers or migration agents are taken very seriously," he said in a statement.

Mr Bowen says if any links to human trafficking are found they will be referred to the AFP for further action.

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