27 Sep 2019

Walk Free applauds launch of new guidance for Australian businesses to combat modern slavery

Australian government announces new guidelines for business to comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

Parliament House, Canberra. Photo Credit: JJ Harrison.

Walk Free congratulates the government for today announcing new guidance for Australian businesses to combat modern slavery.

Australia is the first country to release detailed guidance of this kind, which aims to build organisational capacity to comply with the Modern Slavery Act. which came into force at the beginning of this year.

Walk Free chief executive Jenn Morris thanked the government for taking an international leadership role by putting in place practical measures to support Australian businesses to address the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

“Too often in Australia slavery is considered an overseas problem,” Ms Morris said.

“The fact is, Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index estimates 15,000 people are living in slavery in Australia and thousands more are stripped of their freedom by the practices of the global supply chains that feed into our local businesses.”

“Australians are all exposed to the invisible victims of modern slavery. They make products that feed the supply chains of the companies that sell the food, clothes and consumer goods we buy,” Ms Morris said.

Australia’s Modern Slavery Act (2018) provides a practical, risk‑based reporting framework to directly target modern slavery in global supply chains.

The Act requires companies and other entities based or operating in Australia which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than AUD$100 million to report annually on their efforts to address modern slavery risks in their global operations and supply chains.

The Act applies to more than 3,000 business and entities.