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GOVERNMENT MUST ACT ON SLAVERY - Media Release, Friday 15 December 2017

CLARE O’NEIL MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR JUSTICE

MEMBER FOR HOTHAM


SENATOR THE HON LISA SINGH

LABOR SENATOR FOR TASMANIA 

The Turnbull Government must join Labor in our fight against modern slavery.

Last week, the bipartisan Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled Hidden in Plain Sight: An inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia – its long-awaited report on reforming Australia's response to modern slavery.

The Committee backed Labor’s policy for an Australian Modern Slavery Act to improve transparency within business supply chains and called on the Government to ensure there are penalties for companies who breach the act.

We should not be leaving it to big business to police themselves on slavery. Without penalties, the Act would be completely toothless. The Government must join Labor and implement a strong Modern Slavery Act.

The Committee also called for an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to help victims of modern slavery right here in Australia. There are an estimated 4,300 people trapped in slavery in Australia, but as Senate Estimates revealed, we have only had seven slavery convictions in half a decade. We urgently need a Commissioner to help victims and crack down on this sickening crime.

The Turnbull Government continues to dawdle and delay action on this important issue. We need a Modern Slavery Act with penalties, and an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. Anything less would be pathetic, limp response to an appalling human rights issue.

Labor has been leading the fight against modern slavery. It’s time for Malcolm Turnbull to join us.

FRIDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2017

MEDIA CONTACTS:  

ALICE CRAWFORD (O’NEIL) – 0419 555 635

TAIMUS WERNER-GIBBINGS (SINGH) – 0429 820 344