Parliamentary inquiry endorses Modern Slavery Act
Be Slavery Free has welcomed a decision by a New South Wales parliamentary inquiry to endorse and urge the passing of the state’s world-class modern slavery legislation.
Carolyn Kitto is Be Slavery Free’s co-director. She said that the civil society coalition was “delighted” at the Inquiry’s recommendation that NSW fully implement the 2018 Modern Slavery Bill.
NSW’s Modern Slavery Bill 2018 was welcomed by anti-slavery groups, but was put on hold pending an inquiry into the legislation.
“There are 43 million people in forms of modern slavery today – involved in the making of many goods we buy,” Ms Kitto said.
“We urge the Berejiklian Government to adopt the inquiry’s recommendations and move to implement the Bill without further, unnecessary delay.”
According to Ms KItto, the global downturn caused by COVID-19 will make modern slavery “even more likely because more people will experience deeper poverty.”
The inquiry’s endorsement of the bill marks a hurdle that the bill needed to pass in order to be legislated.
The NSW Modern Slavery Bill features:
- a supply chain transparency scheme for business (with between $50 and $100 million consolidated revenue) and government,
- an Anti-Slavery Commissioner,
- the creation of new modern slavery offences,
- support for victims, and
- the establishment of a parliamentary committee to provide oversight of this important policy area.
“The majority of the world’s modern slaves are connected with the production of goods and provisions of services we benefit from each day of our lives. Governments around the world have an obligation to seek to address this through appropriate legislation sooner rather than later,” Ms Kitto said.
“Sadly, the NSW law is unlikely to be implemented before 1 January 2021. In the meantime, every six months, a population the size of Sydney enters into slave-like conditions.”