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Modern Slavery Act Introduced - June 2018
It's incredible to think that in our time industries like fashion, food and electronics may be tainted with slavery. The good news is that not only did the NSW Government pass the Modern Slavery Bill in June 2018, but the Australian Federal Government has just introduced the Modern Slavery Act in June 2018. We are excited about this positive step forward, and we want to ensure that it will be the strongest Act possible. The best way we can contribute to this is to participate in making submissions to the Modern Slavery Act Inquiry, announced at the end of June. Join us in calling for a robust act that we believe will make a real difference to millions of slaves in our world.
What is our role?
The Freedom Project is part of the Stop The Traffik Australia coalition, and together we are part of the Be Slave Free campaign, to encourage the Australian government to create a robust and effective Modern Slavery Act. We want to ensure that companies are held to account for the business that they do. We want to put pressure on the government and private companies to be aware and take steps to reduce and ultimately eliminate all forms of slavery in any part of their business activities. But we can't do it on our own. The Freedom Project, and the Stop The Traffik coalition is strong because it is a movement of individuals fighting for freedom, all working together to achieve the same goal.
What can you do?
This July, we are asking supporters to make submissions to the Modern Slavery Act Inquiry. These submissions are due on 20th July. Can you please take some time to write down your support and concerns and use your voice to take a stand for some of the world's most vulnerable? The intention of submissions is for people and organisations to express their personal views on the Modern Slavery Act and let our government know why you care about these issues because you believe everyone has the right to be free from exploitation and that companies should be held responsible for the workers in their supply chains.
How to make a submission:
You can write a submission anywhere from a couple of paragraphs, to a couple of pages. The main things to include are:
1. Your personal views on the Modern Slavery Act and why you care about the issues.
2. Affirm the aspects of the Modern Slavery Act that you are proud of, including some or all of the following:
- Broad definition of reporting entity – especially inclusion of the Commonwealth
- Voluntary Modern Slavery Statement for those outside the threshold
- Inclusion of mandatory criteria for Modern Slavery Statement, including being signed by a responsible member (Director)
- Minister will be maintaining a register of Modern Slavery Statements
- Revised Statements can be registered
- Act will be reviewed in 3 years
3. Make recommendations to include some or all of the following:
- An Independent Commissioner to oversee the legislation and process
- For the reporting threshold to be lower (we would ask $25million) and/or based on high-risk industries
- Penalties for non-compliance in reporting
Further guidelines for making a submission can be found here.
THANK YOU for using your voice to help bring freedom to the world's most vulnerable.
You are helping to end slavery - one life at a time!