Australian first: Modern Slavery Bill passes Upper House

Australian first: Modern Slavery Bill passes Upper House

Today the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 passed the NSW Legislative Council.

The Bill is the first of its kind in Australia, with New South Wales leading the nation in tackling human trafficking.

I would like to express my whole-hearted thanks to you, for your support of the Modern Slavery Bill 2018. Together we achieved a huge WIN today and have drawn a line in the sand for all of history.

All people are born equal under God and no one person should be owned like an animal. Each person is worthy of full value and full respect. I am humbled that today NSW has been able to lead the way and set a national benchmark.

In Australia there is well over 4000 cases of human trafficking with many remaining hidden in plain sight.

The evidence is in and today the NSW Legislative Council has acknowledged this and drawn a line in the sand.

The Modern Slavery Bill confronts the crimes of human trafficking including slavery and slavery-like practices such as servitude, forced labour, debt bondage, organ trafficking, deceptive recruiting as well as forced marriage and childhood brides.

The Bill paves the way for the appointment of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, empowers government and commercial organisations to slave-proof supply-lines, and ensures a victim-centred approach for those who have fallen prey to this heinous crimes in our state. This Bill also strengthens laws with regard to child forced marriage and cybersex trafficking.

I want to personally acknowledge the cross-party working group and the many stakeholder organisations and individuals that have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of this abhorrent crime. Today their advocacy has borne fruit. 

This is the first step and I do hope for the full support of the Government in the weeks to come.

I have committed to doing everything I can to see this blight removed from our society as William Wilberforce once said, ‘You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.