Establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia
The Law Council considers addressing modern slavery to be of paramount importance and has previously made submissions related to this issue, including to the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement Inquiry into Human Trafficking, and the Committee's Inquiry into Slavery, Slavery-like conditions and People Trafficking, as well as recently publishing a report in conjunction with Anti-Slavery Australia on Establishing a National Compensation Scheme for Victims of Commonwealth Crime in relation to victims of human trafficking.
Eliminating slavery and slavery-like conditions is a global priority and is reflected in commitments set out in international instruments, including the following to which Australia is a party:
a) the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children;
b) the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
c) the United Nations Declaration on the Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power;
d) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and
e) the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
In addition, both the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (OECD Guidelines) set out standards and guidelines for companies to ensure they are not violating human rights, including by profiting from modern slavery, in their operations and supply chains.
You can read the full submission below.