Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Human Rights Committee; Report
On behalf of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, I present the committee's report entitled Human rights scrutiny report: report 8 of 2018.
Report made a parliamentary paper in accordance with standing order 39(e).
by leave—I rise to speak on the tabling of Human rights scrutiny report: report 8 of 2018. Of the new bills examined in this report, seven have been assessed as not raising human rights concerns as they promote, permissibly limit or do not engage human rights. The committee has also requested further information in relation to the human rights compatibility of two bills and concluded its examination of a number of other pieces of legislation.
I would like to highlight one of the bills with respect to which the committee is seeking additional information: the Modern Slavery Bill 2018. As set out in the report, the bill promotes multiple human rights, including the right to freedom from slavery and forced labour, by requiring certain entities to prepare annual statements on actions to address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains. The report notes that, while Australia has a number of measures in place to prohibit slavery and related practices, the measures introduced by the bill address a gap in Australia's capacity to identify, investigate and respond to instances of modern slavery. These proposed reporting requirements are therefore to be welcomed from a human rights perspective in order to complete its technical assessment against Australia's international human rights law obligations. The committee has also requested some further information as to the compatibility of an aspect of the measures of the right to privacy.
I would like to conclude by noting that, last week, I was pleased to launch a database containing the committee's reports, developed by the Australasian Legal Information Institute, AustLII, with the support of the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law. While the committee's reports are available on its website, it is very welcome that these reports are now accessible in searchable form as part of AustLII's broad range of online legal materials. I trust that this database will be a valuable resource for all those interested in the committee's work. I thank AustLII for including the committee's reports in their collection. I encourage my fellow members and others to examine the committee's latest scrutiny report to better inform their consideration of proposed legislation. With these comments, I commend the committee's Report 8 of 2018to the chamber.