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Australia’s first Modern Slavery Act

13 December 2018
 

On the 29 November, Australia’s first federal Modern Slavery Act was passed by the Australian Parliament. Under the new laws, entities with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million will be required to report on slavery risks in their supply chains.

The Law Council has long advocated for a Modern Slavery Act, considering it to be important accountability mechanism to mitigate instances of modern slavery – including labour exploitation and trafficking.

However, the Law Council has also argued that the current Act could be improved, through the introduction of a penalty regime and an Anti-Slavery Commissioner. As such, it looks forward to future engagement with the Commonwealth Government, noting opportunities for further reform as part of the three-year review in built into the Act.

The Chair of the Law Council’s Business and Human Rights Committee is currently engaging with Government to develop guidelines for reporting entities, and is canvassing opportunities for the facilitation of training for lawyers regarding the Act.

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