abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

1 Dec 2018

Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Australia targets big business with world's 2nd anti-slavery law

See all tags

29 November 2018

Big companies and public bodies in Australia will have to disclose how they tackle modern-day slavery in their operations under a law...that activists say is tougher on business than Britain's landmark 2015 anti-slavery legislation.

The world's second anti-slavery law, passed by Australia, requires companies with a turnover of A$100 million or more ($73 million) to publish annual statements outlining the risk of slavery in supply chains and actions taken to address this.

Yet some human rights groups and trade unions said a lack of financial penalties for companies who flout Australia's Modern Slavery Act was a missed opportunity.

...Compared to Britain's law, Australia's legislation is stricter on the information companies must provide, establishes a central database of their annual statements, and compels public bodies to also publish their anti-slavery efforts.

...The Australian government said the inclusion of civil penalties would be considered in a review of the legislation scheduled for three years after it comes into force.

The law could improve labour rights from farms in Australia to garment factories in nearby countries such as Cambodia and Vietnam and encourage better cooperation between businesses, investors and civil society, human rights groups said.

"(Governments and businesses in the region) will be galvanised which should generate momentum for similar legislation in Asia-Pacific countries," said Amy Sinclair of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre - a pressure group....