ICAR and the Corporate Responsibility Coalition Submit Recommendations to the Australian inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia

In May 2017, ICAR and the Corporate Responsibility Coalition (CORE) made a submission to the Australian Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade's inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. This submission was recently accepted and is now publicly available.

In the submission, ICAR and CORE urge Australia to enact a modern slavery act, and strongly recommend that, in doing so, the Australian government should draw on provisions from the U.K. Modern Slavery Act (U.K. MSA) that have proven effective by:

  1. Requiring companies to publish annual modern slavery statements;
  2. Ensuring that the reporting requirement covers a company’s full operations including supply chains;
  3. Requiring high-level approval of modern slavery statements and publication on companies’ homepages; and
  4. Producing government guidance.

The submission further urges the Australian government to be a leader in addressing modern slavery by drawing on the successes and integrating lessons learned from international best practice to prevent modern slavery by:

  1. Requiring companies to conduct due diligence;
  2. Requiring reporting on specific topics;
  3. Requiring due diligence and reporting to be eligible for public contracts;
  4. Expanding coverage to include public bodies;
  5. Creating a government operated central registry of statements;
  6. Publishing a list of companies required to report;
  7. Providing access to remedy; and
  8. Implementing monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

The full submission can be downloaded here.

In addition to this submission, the International Learning Lab made a submission to the inquiry. The Learning Lab's submission focuses on recommending that an Australian Modern Slavery Act should include a 'Transparency in Supply Chains' provision that is modeled on and improves upon Section 54 of the UK Modern Slavery Act, and that such a provision should apply not only to corporations, but also to public bodies. 

The Learning Lab submission can be downloaded here, and additional information about the submission can be found here.