“Get It Don!”
That’s the message from a new campaign urging NSW Government Minister, Don Harwin to finally bring into force the NSW Modern Slavery Act, which the Parliament passed three years ago, but still has not been proclaimed.
The launch of the #GetItDon campaign follows a recent report that revealed almost half (48%) of the 36,000 suppliers to Australian businesses analysed had a ‘high risk’ of modern slavery in their supply chains.
Of 1,000 surveyed items, more than 800 were made by people in slavery at some point during production.
Additionally, a 2019 Australian Institute of Criminology report stated that there were up to 1,900 slavery victims in Australia in 2017. Some estimates range as high as 15,000.
These sobering statistics explain why the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW), which was passed with bipartisan support and co-sponsored by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian, is so vitally important.
However, three years later, the NSW Government has yet to proclaim the Act, and there are concerns that the Act will be watered down to allow businesses to continue profiting from slavery.
“It is time to get it Don!” International Justice Mission (IJM) Australia CEO Steve Baird said.
“Minister Harwin and the NSW Government hold the key to proclaiming the Modern Slavery Act and doing something meaningful to remove slavery from our supply chains.
“Every day that governments stand idle, more than 10 million children around the globe are being exploited and suffering.
“Given the global reach of their supply chains, the government and business sectors have both an opportunity and an obligation to take action.”
When passed, NSW’s Modern Slavery Act was one of the toughest in world. However, special interests have held it at bay for the past three years.
Under the Act, when a company’s annual turnover reaches $50 million it must take steps to investigate and eliminate modern slavery from their supply lines.
However, IJM Australia is concerned that proclamation of the Act has been hampered by the attempts of special interest groups to raise the reporting threshold to $100 million, thus limiting the Act’s application to fewer entities.
“I fear some sectors of society are working hard to ensure this law doesn’t come into effect,” Mr Baird said.
“It’s outrageous that in this day and age we’re still seeing arguments over how much a company should be allowed to make before slavery becomes an issue.
“But Minister Don Harwin can ensure this doesn’t happen and get it done by proclaiming the Modern Slavery Act as it was passed three years ago.”
As part of the campaign, IJM Australia has launched Task Force Don, encouraging Australian citizens to join the call on government to #GetItDon. For more information and to join the Task Force, visit https://getitdon.com.au
MEDIA: Nick Trainor 0407 078 138
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