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MEDIA RELEASE: Anti-Slavery Advocates Welcome International Development Policy

Tuesday, 8 August 2023

International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia has welcomed the Australian Government’s new International Development Policy.

Announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the policy solidifies Australia’s development cooperation approach for the next few years.

IJM Australia CEO Steve Baird said today’s announcement is particularly heartening given its focus on alleviating those in poverty. He said:

“International development is key to Australia’s sustainability on the global stage and must be centred on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Modern slavery is the antithesis of sustainable development. Protecting vulnerable populations from the horrors of modern slavery should be a key goal of our international development efforts.

There is currently low and fragmented anti-slavery funding from Australia’s official development assistance programs, and we would welcome poverty alleviation funding to explicitly include a focus on anti-slavery efforts. Ending modern slavery is central to several targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and key to successful international development progress.

This policy is just the beginning – now the real work starts to rebuild the international development program, and there’s a lot of work to do.

IJM has a long and successful history of work in the Asia Pacific, particularly in helping protect children from Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC).

We look forward to continue working with the Australian Government and our Asia Pacific neighbours to stamp out the scourge of modern slavery – and today’s announcement is an encouraging step forward.

IJM Australia also welcomed the new Civil Society Partnerships Fund as part of this announcement, which will be co-designed by the Government and partners including civil society organisations.”

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MEDIA: Billy Briggs | 0474 697 235 | [email protected]  

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