A Sydney clothing company has been forced to shut down after it was accused of exploiting women and exploiting children.
Key points:A clothing company in NSW is being accused of trafficking young girls to make moneyThe owner of the business, a former university student, has pleaded guilty to trafficking and sexual exploitationThe former business owner, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 15 years in jail and a $10,000 fineThe Australian Women’s Clothing Association has been campaigning for a change in laws to stop the exploitation of young girls and women in Australian clothing industry.
A NSW-based company called AUSC was accused by the Australian Women and Children’s Clothing Federation (AWCCF) of trafficking and sexually exploiting teenage girls.
The AWCCF said AUSc had engaged in a pattern of engaging in exploitative and abusive practices in the Australian clothing business.”AWCCFF’s concern is that the accused Australian Clothing Corporation (ACCC) has engaged in conduct that has created a culture of child exploitation and exploitation of vulnerable young people in the company’s operation,” the AWCCf said in a statement.
The ACCC has not commented.
In a statement to News18, the company said it had “learned a great deal” about the allegations and the allegations against the company, which it declined to name.
“We will continue to work with the authorities to ensure that all of our workers are safe,” the statement read.
The company said the closure of the company was “a consequence of the investigation, which has not been completed, and we have now taken the necessary actions to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers”.
The Australian Woman’s Clothing Council (AWC) said it would be investigating the allegations.
“I think it is important for the industry to look at what is happening and understand the impact of this,” AWC president Sue Condon said.
“There is an issue with the industry.
There is an industry that is failing the young girls that they are supposed to be working with.”
Ms Condon believes there is a need to change laws to protect young girls in the industry, as well as the industry’s culture.
“If it is going to happen, it’s going to be done by those people that are doing it, not by the politicians who are not doing anything,” she said.
The ABC contacted the Australian Clothing Council for comment, but did not hear back at the time of publication.AUSC said in the statement that it had learned a great many things from the investigation and that it “will continue to ensure all of its workers are in safe conditions”.
“The Australian Clothing Industry is committed to being a safe and responsible industry for our workers and customers,” the company added.