DEADLINE APPROACHING: Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia

The filing deadline for the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Inquiry on Modern Slavery is less than 3 weeks away with submissions to be filed by 28 April (international organisations have until 19 May). With Easter around the corner, there is not much time left.

This inquiry comes at a critical time after many years of campaigning, research and lobbying. This Committee is one of the highest profile and significant within Parliament. The members of this inquiry are from all major parties, each being influential members of Parliament. This demonstrates a strong Government commitment to address the pressing issues of modern slavery, particularly focusing on its prevalence within supply chains and role of businesses. The issues have already garnered significant bipartisan interest and increasing mainstream media attention.

To help those who are unsure whether to file, what to focus on or who are otherwise unfamiliar with the process, we have prepared a short “Guide to Filing Submissions”. This document is designed to complement, not replace the official information available from the Inquiry Homepage, or the research resources available online from Walk Free Foundation.

Addressing the complex crimes of modern slavery crucially depends on collaboration and engagement across the public, private and civil sectors both here in Australia and overseas. The laws we are campaigning for would not punish, but rather encourage companies to take proportionate action, to set the pace at which they can respond and encourage a race to top in driving up standards. A Modern Slavery Act would be an important first step (within the wider context of human rights accountability for businesses) to help CEOs walk before they run. More details can be found in our “The Case for an Australian Modern Slavery Act” publication.

We urge you not to miss this invaluable opportunity for your voice, and the voice of your organisation to be heard, and to be actively involved in this vital law reform.

DOWNLOAD: WFF Submission Guide_MSA

If having access to The Case for an Australian Modern Slavery Act in hard copy would help support your organisation or upcoming events, we’d be more than happy to arrange for the printed publications to be delivered to you. Please contact Shaeron Yapp ( for more information.