Monday, 3 December 2018
International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
At the request of Senator Singh, I move:
That the Senate—
(i) that 2 December 2018 was International Day for the Abolition of Slavery,
(ii) more than 40 million people are in modern slavery, including 24 million in forced labour and 15 million in forced marriage,
(iii) one in four victims of modern slavery are children; and women and girls account for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry, and 58% in other sectors, and
(iv) some of these individuals are based in Australia, or are connected to Australian companies' supply chains;
(i) the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Hidden in plain sight: An inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia,
(ii) the work of countries, such as the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands, in enacting legislation to combat modern slavery, and
(iii) that Australia needs an enforceable Modern Slavery Act; and
(c) calls on the Morrison Government to establish an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, and civil penalties for noncompliance.
The Liberal-National government's modern slavery bill passed this parliament last week and is a wonderful example of the parliament at its best. Despite our wide range of views, we all agree on the fundamental principle that modern slavery has no place in our community and in the supply chains of the goods and services we buy. The bill will hold large organisations accountable for their supply chain practices and create a level playing field for industry to address and disclose their modern slavery risks. This bill is a first step, and there will be a comprehensive three-year review. The modern slavery business engagement unit is the most effective way to implement the reporting requirements, an independent anti-slavery commissioner and penalties are not required at this stage.
Question agreed to.