Strengthen Modern Slavery Laws

Paper Promises

A new report – Paper Promises? Evaluating the early impact of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act  – is the outcome of a review of statement submitted by 102 companies under this legislation. Companies selected were from four sectors known to have risks of modern slavery in their supply chains – garments from China, rubber gloves from Malaysia, seafood from Thailand and fresh produce from Australia. Of the companies reviewed:

  • 77% of companies failed to comply with the basic reporting requirements of the legislation;
  • 52% had failed to identify obvious modern slavery risks in their operations or supply chains;
  • 27% of companies appeared to be taking some form of effective action to address modern slavery risks.

A coalition of human rights organisations, church groups and academics are calling on the federal government to strengthen Australia’s modern slavery laws. The coalition have called for a range of measures to strengthen the regime, including the addition of penalties for companies that fail to comply with the law, mandatory due diligence requirements, improved access to justice for workers and better guidance for companies sourcing from high-risk sectors.

Download a copy of the report here.