The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia today expressed its concern at the results of a landmark report by University of New South Wales and University of Technology Sydney highlighting endemic exploitation and underpayment of international students and backpackers.
Ms Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of FECCA said: “The results of this report further confirm what FECCA has been saying – migrant workers including students and backpackers are being grossly underpaid and need stronger protections.”
Ms Patetsos continued: “The revelation in the report that one in three international students and backpackers are paid about half the legal minimum wage is appalling.”
“We call on the Government to ensure employers are held to account for any exploitation and that all relevant regulatory bodies are sufficiently resourced to ensure these vulnerable workers are protected and paid a fair wage.”
FECCA is active in advocating for the fair treatment of migrant and temporary workers.
Ms Patetsos said: “Migrant workers are vital to Australia’s economy and society. Temporary visa holders are some of the most vulnerable workers in Australia and are too often victims of workplace abuse.”
“I commend UNSW and UTS for the rigorous nature of the research in this report. These findings must be addressed urgently.”
Full details of the report and its authors can be found here.
FECCA is the national peak body representing Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. FECCA’s role is to advocate and promote issues on behalf of its constituency to government, business and the broader community.
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