Australia’s New ‘Modern Slavery Act’ – virtue signaling or a real attempt to stamp out Australia’s involvement in ‘modern slavery’?

Fellows, Jamie (2019) Australia’s New ‘Modern Slavery Act’ – virtue signaling or a real attempt to stamp out Australia’s involvement in ‘modern slavery’? Res Judicata: contemporary issues in administrative and public law.

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Abstract

In late 2018 the Australian Parliament introduced the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (Act). The purpose of the Act was to try to ensure that Australian corporations whose annual revenue exceeds $100 million (or foreign firms operating in Australia with the same revenue) do not assist in anyway the global ‘modern slave’ trade. The Act requires ‘around 3000 entities based or operating in Australia to prepare annual statements on potential modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains’. The Act is in response to the global phenomenon that, unbelievably, is still rampant across much of the globe. Even in this day and age it is difficult to believe that slaves are still a feature of the modern landscape in various insidious ways. But it is not just corporations that might be (inadvertently) involved with slavery—modern slavery is said to exist also with those who are subjected to forced marriages. For all we know, you and I could in some ways be inextricably linked to the practice due to the products we buy and the foods we consume. For these reasons it is very important that Australia’s position in relation to this practice is more than mere ‘virtue signaling’ but is a real attempt at combating slavery.

Item ID: 58164
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
ISSN: 2206-3145
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2019 04:52
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180114 Human Rights Law @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9403 International Relations > 940304 International Political Economy (excl. International Trade) @ 100%
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