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17 Feb 2017

Foreign Affairs And Aid Sub-Committee Joint Standing Committee On Foreign Affairs, Defence And Trade (Australia)

Australian government launches formal enquiry into establishing a UK style modern slavery legislation

"Media release: Combatting modern slavery"

Australia's Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee of the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has commenced an inquiry into whether Australia should adopt national legislation to combat modern slavery, comparable to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act 2015.

‘The appalling practice of modern slavery is a scourge that regrettably continues to affect millions of people around the world, including in Australia,’ Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee Chair, Mr Chris Crewther MP, said. The inquiry ‘seeks to build on this work to explore what further changes could be made to strengthen Australia’s efforts to combat modern slavery. This is particularly timely in light of the UK’s recent introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and allows the opportunity for the Committee to assess whether similar changes could be applied here in Australia.’

The Australian Government has already taken steps to address modern slavery, including the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking and
Slavery 2015-2019, establishment of the Supply Chains Working Group and changes to the Criminal Code to strengthen penalties for offenders.

The Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee invites submissions from anyone with an interest in the issues raised by these terms of reference. Submissions addressing the terms of reference should be lodged by 28 April 2017.

The UN Global Compact Network Australia welcomed the enquiry.