Latest modern slavery fight updates -

Australia to Introduce Modern Slavery Act to Parliament Mid-2018

  • Published on
    May 10, 2018
  • News Source Image
  • Category:
    Child Slavery, Debt Bondage, Domestic Slavery, Forced Labor, Forced Marriage, Human Trafficking, Law & Policy, Prevention, Rehabilitation & Liberation, Supply Chain
Hero Banner

Australia’s own Modern Slavery Act — designed to be tougher than the UK’s — will require more than 3,000 companies to disclose how they are fighting modern slavery in their supply chains.

The Australian government announced this week that it would introduce the Modern Slavery Act to parliament by mid-2018 and also explained the requirements for large companies that would be compelled to publish annual statements on how they are addressing modern slavery.

Compared the the UK’s Modern Slavery Act passed in 2015, Australia’s law aims to be stricter on the content of company statements, and the government says it will publish the names of entities that would be required to report. This would include all companies with a turnover of at least A$100 million ($75 million).

Thomson Reuters Foundation reports:

“This … takes the Australian Modern Slavery Act beyond its precursor in the UK, which is currently the gold standard for modern slavery reporting, by including a central repository of statements,” said Jenn Morris, head of the Walk Free Foundation.

“It will strengthen the effectiveness of reporting laws by monitoring companies’ compliance and progress,” added Morris of Walk Free – a major global anti-trafficking charity.

Australia has committed A$3.6 million to establish a business unit which would manage the repository and advise companies on modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

The Business Council of Australia has backed the proposed reporting requirements, but opposition lawmakers and trade unions say the law is still incomplete, pointing to the lack of penalties on companies that fail to comply and the need to have an independent anti-slavery commissioner to assist victims.

“(The state’s) primary concern is – as always – protecting big business,” said shadow justice minister Clare O’Neil.

A spokesman for the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) added that there are currently no punishments for companies that do not report or which fail to rectify cases of modern slavery in their supply chains.

“The failure to impose such penalties is a reason why the UK’s own Modern Slavery Act has not been effective,” he said.

The UK Modern Slavery Act compels large firms to report on how they are addressing forced labor and established the role of an independent anti-slavery commissioner. However, anti-slavery campaigners argue that many companies still fail to comply and that the government does not provide adequate support to trafficking victims.


Freedom United is interested in hearing from our community and welcomes relevant, informed comments, advice, and insights that advance the conversation around our campaigns and advocacy. We value inclusivity and respect within our community. To be approved, your comments should be civil.

stop icon A few things we do not tolerate: comments that promote discrimination, prejudice, racism, or xenophobia, as well as personal attacks or profanity. We screen submissions in order to create a space where the entire Freedom United community feels safe to express and exchange thoughtful opinions.

Notify of
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ray Levick
Ray Levick
6 years ago

I did hear that in N S W the C D P have introduced a similar bill but it has to be approved by the Lower House.

This week

Rounded up and abandoned: Europe’s covert support of migrant atrocities

It is well documented that inhumane immigration policies are forcing migrants to take extremely risky routes on their journey to seek asylum in Europe and globally. However, a year-long investigation by the Washington Post, Lighthouse Reports, and a consortium of international media outlets uncovered that migrant lives are not just at risk due to sketchy channel crossings and being packed in the back of refrigerator trucks. To dissuade sub-Saharan

| Wednesday May 22, 2024

Read more