There are an estimated 48.5 million people in slavery worldwide, many of whom are victims of exploitation in private sector activities, such as manufacturing, construction and agriculture.
Labor believes Australia has an important role to play in fighting modern slavery. Two-thirds of people trapped in slavery worldwide are reported to be in the Asia-Pacific region, and it is estimated that an unbelievable 4,300 people are currently trapped in slavery right here in Australia in exploitative criminal syndicates involved in forced labour, sex trafficking and debt bondage.
After Labor committed to introducing a Modern Slavery Act in 2017 – with penalties for non-compliance and an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner. The Government finally brought legislation through the Parliament last year, which passed with Labor’s support, but the Government refused to commit to penalties for non-compliance or an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
Labor believes we should not be leaving it to big business to police themselves on slavery. And we urgently need more support for victims of this awful practice.
That’s why, if elected, Labor will introduce penalties for big businesses who breach the Modern Slavery Act, and establish an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to help the people trapped in slavery right here in Australia.