Modern slavery statements see new era of business transparency

Two years ago this month, the Australian Government established the landmark Modern Slavery Act 2018 (the Act), which requires businesses to publish Modern Slavery Statements (statements) explaining their actions to combat modern slavery risks in their global operations and supply chains.

The first tranche of statements made under the Act have now been published online, marking a new era of business transparency and a vital step forward for Australia’s efforts to eradicate modern slavery in our supply chains.

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Jason Wood, said the statements published today show how the legislation is driving business action to combat modern slavery across some of our biggest businesses and household names.

“The 120 statements published on the public register provide consumers, businesses, investors, civil society and regulators with an unprecedented window into the operations and global supply chains of businesses spanning more than 20 industry sectors.”

“There is no excuse for inaction on this issue and every business should be taking steps to ensure they understand modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains, and implementing measures to address them. This first tranche of statements makes it clear which companies are leading the way in combating modern slavery.”

“I congratulate those businesses going the extra mile to demonstrate their commitment to identifying and addressing modern slavery risks in their supply chains,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

The Act applies to large businesses and other entities with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million. Deadlines for submission of the first statements under the Act are between December 2020 and June 2021, with the Australian Border Force (ABF) expecting thousands more statements to be published over the next six months.

All published statements are available online through the ABF Online Register.

The ABF has published additional guidance notes on the online register highlighting good practice trends and areas for improvement based on the published statements. 

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