In 2016, the Government introduced a $3.7 billion train ticket credit to help train operators manage the risk of human trafficking and exploitation.
Now the same agency is investigating a train worker in Western Australia who claims she was forced to prostitute herself for more than a year and that she was paid $15 a time.
The woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, was working as a cleaner in Perth’s Fitzroy Station, a rail hub that runs between Adelaide and Melbourne.
She claims she had to work up to 14 hours a day to cover her bills.
The worker, who asked not to be named, says she was first approached by a train operator on February 26, 2017.
She was working from 6am to 9pm every day.
“They were like, ‘Do you want to do a job for us?’
I said, ‘Yes’,” she said.
The worker claims she initially got paid $8 an hour and was paid every other day. “
So I said yeah, I’ll do it.”
The worker claims she initially got paid $8 an hour and was paid every other day.
But on May 2, she says she received a call from the train operator saying she was going to be paid $20 an hour.
“I didn’t know what to do.
I was like, well, what am I going to do?”
The woman claims she asked the operator what was going on and was told the job was not hers, but that they would cover her expenses.
She also alleges the woman told her she would have to go to the train station to find a job.
“Then they took me there,” she said, describing the experience.
“That was the worst moment because I didn’t want to go back to the station because I couldn’t go back.
It was really hard.”
The woman alleges the train company offered her $2,500 a month and that the train operators promised her a job in a different station, but she did not accept.
“It was just really, really stressful,” she told ABC News.
“My heart was pounding, my mind was racing, and my stomach was hurting.”
The train operator she claims was the woman’s boss says he does not have a history of human rights violations and has not heard of any other allegations against the woman.
“He’s a good guy,” the man said.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said it was unable to comment on individual cases.
“All allegations of human exploitation are investigated by an independent body, and we will always do everything we can to ensure we uphold human rights,” the agency said in a statement.
“Our role is to investigate allegations of exploitation of passengers and crew, but we have no jurisdiction over individuals.”
The agency said it received more than 500 reports of sexual exploitation in 2016, including several allegations of forced prostitution.
However, it did not respond to ABC News’ request for an interview.
In its statement, the ABC said it has contacted the Government to see if the train worker has been charged with a crime and is waiting to hear back.
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