15,000 people enslaved in Australia

15,000 people enslaved in Australia

It is estimated that there are 15,000 people enduring modern slavery in Australia. This estimate is up from 4,300 as previously thought. That is for every 10,000 Australian’s, 6 of us are being held in modern slavery.

On 19th July, Mr Andrew Forrest, WalkFree Foundation in partnership with the International Labour Organisation released the Global Slavery Index for 2018 at the United Nations, New York. The report found that there are 40.3 million people in slavery with 71% being female.

I am proud that in our state the Christian Democratic Party has paved the way with the passage of the Modern Slavery Act 2018. Our Act will install an Anti-Slavery Commissioner and hosts a penalty of $1.1 million dollars for business with an annual turnover of $50 million that fail to provide a modern slavery statement for each financial year going forward.

The report calls on the Australian Government to do more to tackle modern slavery in our nation. Including introduce an Independent Commissioner and increase the penalties for businesses with an annual turnover of $100 million for failing to provide a modern slavery statement.

Amongst the G20 countries there is approximately $354 billion dollars’ worth of imported products that are at risk of being a products of modern slavery. The top 5 products are:

  1. Laptops, computers and mobile phones - $200.1billion
  2. Garments - $127.7billion
  3. Fish - $12.9billion
  4. Cocoa - $3.6billion
  5. Sugarcane - $2.1billion

We here in New South Wales we have begun to tackle the issue of supply chains head on. I encourage other states and territories to look at what they can do to tackle this issue – because together we can make a difference.