IJM Australia recently made a submission to the Australian Government containing recommendations for Australia’s response to modern slavery.
The Australian Government is developing a new National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-24 (“the Plan”), building upon its previous 5-year plan. The Plan will articulate a comprehensive, whole-of-government strategy to combat modern slavery both in Australia and abroad, and will include measures and strategies aimed at prevention, enforcement and support for victims of modern slavery.
IJM Australia’s submission was in response to the Government’s Public Consultation Paper which outlined key areas of focus of the proposed Plan. Our submission highlights:
· the urgent need for decisive action to eradicate modern slavery
· the critical importance of having functioning public justice systems in developing countries for the effectiveness of all other measures to combat modern slavery
· the need to address cybersex trafficking within the National Action Plan as a rapidly growing form of modern slavery
· examples of new technologies being used in anti-slavery work and the potential of partnerships with the technology sector to amplify efforts in combatting modern slavery
IJM Australia’s submission addresses the consultation paper questions on whether there should be other areas of focus beyond those already identified, and we comment on some of those areas identified. While the submission is not a comprehensive statement of our position on a National Action Plan for Australia, we hope that there will be further opportunity for input once the Government completes a draft of the National Action Plan 2020-24.
Summary of recommendations
· Address cybersex trafficking of children as a growing form of modern slavery
· Engage with the technology sector to apply new technologies in the fight against modern slavery
· Continue to develop and strengthen work to address modern slavery in global supply chains and ensure that related legislative frameworks are reviewed regularly
· Raise awareness across the Australian community about nature and gravity of modern slavery and our connection to these crimes
· End a culture of impunity at home and abroad by strengthening law enforcement and prosecuting perpetrators of modern slavery
· Engage with the finance sector to address modern slavery beyond risk management through partnerships that strengthen justice systems
· Improve access to comprehensive, unrestricted support for victims of modern slavery to support their holistic restoration and empowerment
· Embed ending modern slavery as a key part of Australia foreign aid program and increase funding to address core drivers of modern slavery and strengthen local justice systems
Updates on the development of the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-24 will be posted on the Australian government website.
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