Jo Clay MLA will table a bill to address the real but often hidden problem of modern slavery in the ACT.
“Slavery is not just a historical problem. Recent estimates are that more people live in slavery today than in any other time in human history – around 50 million globally,” said Jo Clay, ACT Greens MLA for Ginninderra.
“Modern slavery looks different to that of the past, but it is still incredibly real and often takes on the form of forced marriage, sexual exploitation, forced labour or human trafficking. It exists across industries as well. Hospitality, agriculture, cleaning, construction and the textile, clothing and footwear industries are just a few areas where this is particularly prevalent.
“Many in the community have been calling for stronger action to address this issue including churches and religious groups, academics, charities, advocacy organisations and more.”
The bill proposes to establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner within the ACT Human Rights Commission and to further focus on eliminating Modern Slavery in ACT Government supply chains.
“New South Wales and the Commonwealth have laws that respond to modern slavery but the ACT has not kept up in our legislative response to this issue. My bill learns from these other jurisdictions and sets the ACT up to be a leader among Australian States and Territories in the response to Modern Slavery.
“Canberrans care about the wellbeing of those in our community, where products come from, where they end up and the welfare of those who are involved in these supply chains.
“This Bill is an important first step in legislating to effectively respond to modern slavery in the ACT and I look forward to the important community conversation this legislation will initiate,” said Ms Clay.
This bill progresses an item in the Parliamentary and Governing Agreement of the 10th Assembly.
Quotes Attributable to Carolyn Kitto Co-Director of Be Slavery Free
“There are two things that are not political. The first is chocolate and today we have launched the 4th edition of our Chocolate Scorecard assessing companies who together produce and sell 95% of the world’s chocolate. We eat chocolate for pleasure and indulgence – but there are other ingredients like child labour, extreme poverty and environmental destruction. We ask consumers to preference chocolate without these ingredients with the help of the Chocolate Scorecard.”
“The second is ending modern slavery – the world’s fastest growing illegal crime now impacting 50 million people including in Australia and in the goods we buy. We congratulate Jo Clay MLA for tabling ACT Modern Slavery Bill today and look forward to ongoing engagement with all political parties, business, civil society and academics to end modern slavery in the Territory.”
Bill Summary: https://greens.org.au/sites/default/files/2023-03/MSFactSheet.pdf
For more information on Australian Anti-Slavery organisations - https://www.beslaveryfree.com/ , https://www.walkfree.org/ , https://antislavery.org.au/modern-slavery/