Sept 2020. A lot happened last month with regards to the Modern Slavery. Particularly, in NSW. In this update you will read about the NSW Modern Slavery Act; also the US banning supplies from China and fish from Taiwan. And you can learn more about what you can do with regard to your company supply chains.

NSW Modern Slavery Act moves ahead in Sept 20.

This Act has been delayed for two years!

EVERY SINGLE DAY around 25,000 people go into slavery.

So this two year delay, has meant over 18million more people are in slavery. And that figure has not taken into account the increase that poverty from COVID has caused on most countries. Supply chains being cut and orders being cancelled, slavery is on the increase.

Parliament met on 24th Sept 2020 to discuss the NSW Modern Slavery Act. As a result, the 17 recommendations that an earlier enquiry made, were addressed. The outcome is that, “the NSW Government will commence discussions with the Commonwealth to achieve greater harmonisation with the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018.”  Therefore, the response to most of the 17 recommendations is exactly the same: “Supported in Principle – subject to harmonisation discussions with the Commonwealth”.   

While we are glad something is happening, we are very concerned these “discussions” with the Commonwealth will create more delay. And as a result, more lives will go into slavery. That’s 25,000 lives A DAY! To find out how you can help push the urgency on this read our lastest article on this act here.

In September the US took a stand against Child and Forced Labour.

‘The Trump administration on Monday 14th Sept, said it will block United States imports of cotton, apparel and other products from five specific entities in western China’s Xinjiang region. But has shelved proposed region-wide bans on all Xinjiang-produced cotton and tomato products.’ Read more . Human rights campaigners had been calling on US authorities to ban all imports of cotton from the Chinese province of Xinjiang after allegations of widespread forced labour. However, a total ban “would wreak havoc” on legitimate supply chains especially right now during COVID when they are already strained; according to Stephen Lamar, president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. So the pulling back looks like the wise choice, but further investigations need to happen to protect human rights.

With regards to the ban on fish coming in from Taiwan you can read our latest blog on this here.

Australia’s Modern Slavery Act – is your company being asked what you are doing?

In September many companies began submitting their modern slavery statement. Aldi were one of the first and Woolworths released released theirs early Sept.

“Many large companies are now putting the pressure on their own supply chain to do something about slavery.  As a result there is now more pressure for smaller businesses to submit a voluntary statement.” said Sally Irwin, founder of The Freedom Hub. “We have been very busy helping smaller businesses put together statements and processes to satisfy their customers requirements.”

There is an online register now available here to submit a statement. Entities required to report under the Modern Slavery Act or entities that wish to voluntarily report are now able to submit their modern slavery statements to the online register for review and publication by the Australian Border Force.

The Freedom Hub Ethical Business Services is set up and ready to help your business with assessing your risk of slavery. We have been assessing our own supply chains and putting in policies since 2014. As a charity we know how to do it ‘on the smell of an oily rag’. No big budget for this? Contact us.

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Other blogs you might enjoy:

Three Women: Real Lives – Trafficked

Three things I learnt about Modern Slavery

Survivor News September 2020 Recap