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

17 Nov 2022

UNSW Newsroom

Companies are failing to act on modern slavery, new report shows

See all tags

17 November 2022


The report, Broken Promises: Two years of corporate reporting under Australia’s Modern Slavery Act, examines the second year of corporate statements submitted to the government's Modern Slavery Register.


The report found that:

  • 66 percent of companies reviewed are still failing to comply with the basic reporting requirements mandated by the legislation, with some companies not submitting reports at all
  • over half of the commitments made by companies in the first year of reporting to improve their modern slavery response (56 per cent) remain unfulfilled based on their second-year statements
  • 43 per cent of companies are still failing to identify obvious modern slavery risks in their supply chains
  • there is a mere 6 per cent increase in the number of companies appearing to be taking some form of effective action to address modern slavery risks, with two in three companies still failing to act.


Amy Sinclair, Regional Representative for Australia, New Zealand & Pacific, Business and Human Rights Resource Centre said the Modern Slavery Act has failed to instigate a ‘race to the top’ by companies wanting to confront modern slavery, more of a slow crawl, with companies averaging a mere 7 per cent rate of improvement in two years.

“These results should be viewed against a backdrop of growing inequality and exploitation of workers as the cost-of-living crisis bites ever harder,” she said.

“Our research has revealed the Act to be an incomplete and inadequate strategy for confronting exploitation and addressing the egregious human rights abuse of modern slavery.

“To best do this, Australia requires a more robust law requiring decisive action by companies and penalties for those who fail to take it.”