• Hannah Phillips

New Legislation To Combat Modern Slavery

Last week Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Alex Hawke announced the Government has introduced legislation to reduce the risk that Australian goods and services are tainted by modern slavery.

The Modern Slavery Bill 2018 establishes a Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement that requires over 3,000 large companies and other entities to publish annual public statements on their actions to address modern slavery in their supply chains and operations.

In a world first, the Australian Government will lead by example by publishing an annual statement covering possible modern slavery risks in Commonwealth procurement.

Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Alex Hawke said the Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement will transform the way the Australian business community responds to modern slavery.

“Large businesses will have to identify modern slavery risks in their supply chains and detail what steps they have taken, and will take, to address these risks,” Mr Hawke said.

The United Nations estimates that there are 25 million victims of forced labour exploited in global supply chains, including in the agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries.

The Government committed $3.6 million through the 2018-19 Commonwealth Budget to establish a Modern Slavery Business Engagement Unit within the Department of Home Affairs to advise and support businesses.

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