A coalition of organisations, including Global GreenTag, has released a Statement of Support for the development of legislation to combat Modern Slavery.
According to the Global Slavery Index, modern slavery is a significant global human rights issue with an estimated 40 million people living in some form of modern slavery around the world, including human trafficking, servitude, child labour, sex trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage.
Australia is not immune with an estimated 4,300 people living under modern slavery conditions.
The Australian Government, through a joint-standing committee is investigating legislation to combat Modern Slavery with the intention of introducing legislation that will make it a requirement for large companies to investigate and report on modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.
It is an important initiative that every company should get behind, says David Baggs, CEO of Global GreenTag.
“We have vested ethical interest as a highly transparent, product certification label. Just as we are driven to protect and preserve the environment and earth’s natural systems and resources, Global GreenTag is also committed as part of its certification standard to assess protection policies and measures for the protection of people who both work with or who are affected by manufacturing processes and all along the product supply chain. We are very pleased to support for the establishment of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia.”
Edward Santow, the Human Rights Commissioner says the Statement of Support is intended to assist the reform processes and provide guiding principles; including transparency, accountability, victim support and leadership. He says:
“This Statement is significant because it brings together a diverse group of leaders from the Australian business community, civil society, the religious community and academia.
“As leaders, we support a unified approach in addressing modern slavery. This is the only way that real change can take place.”
The Statement of Support was released at the end of October and says a Modern Slavery Act should be aligned with and reinforce the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
It says clear guidance and support should be provided for organisations that find modern slavery in their operations or supply chains. It says there should be access to appropriate information, remedies and support for victims.
The Signatories of the Statement of Support for an Australian Modern Slavery Act are:
Anti-Slavery Australia UTS
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans
Australian Human Rights Commission
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Global Green Tag
Green Building Council Australia
Supply Chain Sustainability School
Uniting Church in Australia – Synod of Victoria & Tasmania
The Freedom Partnership
UNSW Law & Australian Human Rights Institute
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