In March 2017 the Australian Government announced an inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia to combat modern slavery – the result of many years of campaigning, research and lobbying.
The Walk Free Foundation, along with other organisations, is committed to advocating for the establishment of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. The introduction of this legislation would give Australia the opportunity to take decisive action against modern slavery and show leadership both domestically and globally in our resolve to end this practice. The establishment of Australian modern slavery legislation would be an appropriate response to the call from domestic and global stakeholders to put an end to the widespread impact of modern slavery.
Although there are voluntary initiatives and various international standards around modern slavery, legislation is needed to shape and change corporate behaviour. With the unregulated gaps that currently exist in the global market, a Modern Slavery Act would remove the profitability of modern slavery and mean that Australian businesses and international businesses in Australia are not disadvantaged due to competing with corporations who continue to use slavery in their supply chains.
Wherever you look, business is wanting government to show the leadership and adopt the modern slavery act with independent oversight. That independent oversight I can assure you… is critical.” Andrew Forrest in front of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
The use of forced labour by global companies means that people across the world continue to be victim to this crime. Government and business must work together by identifying the use of modern slavery in supply chains and developing creative and lasting solutions to this issue.