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Backpackers abused in Australia: Working holiday visas exploited by Aussie employers – TomoNews

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After years of complaints Australia’s government has finally admitted after an investigation that farms and factories have been exploiting unskilled workers with 417 working holiday visas.

The 417 working holiday visa has attracted more than a quarter million visitors since it began, and was intended as a cultural exchange program for backpackers and international students looking to travel to Australia or extend their visas. The working holiday visa allows individuals to stay for up to 6 months and seek employment in unskilled or low-skilled jobs such as fruit picking or meat packaging.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous corporations are taking advantage of migrant workers. Migrant workers are often paid less than minimum wage, women are often sexually harassed or assaulted, and some are solicited for sex in order to obtain a visa extension. Migrant workers are often treated differently from their Australian passport holding co-workers. Some companies provide Australian employees overnight sleeping quarters but migrant workers are often only given a pallet on the floor in a main room.

For those migrant workers who dare to complain, they’re quickly fired and their visas revoked.

The 417 visa system has been severely corrupted and needs a complete overhaul. The question is: Who’s going to tackle the issue?

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