Charles Sturt University
Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture

Ending Slavery Forum

29 Mar 2018

Australia can help reduce the 40 million people around the world who are victims of slavery by making companies issue a modern slavery statement.

This was the message at the Ending Slavery Forum held at the Chambers Pavilion on Tuesday March 27, 2018 to mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Member for Dunkley Chris Crewther MP said requiring companies to report was one of the key recommendations from a 2017 inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia.

He said the Coalition hopes to introduce a bill in federal parliament sometime this year.

“In considering the report there are a number of recommendations which I think are crucial to the formulation of a Modern Slavery Act. Firstly a reporting mechanism where businesses which turn over $50 million annually are required to issue a modern slavery statement,” he said.

“If you’re a Woolworths or a Coles and you have to report then there is many smaller companies within your supply chain who essentially will have to show they don’t have modern slavery in their supply chains in any event,” he said.

He said some have argued that the threshold for companies be $100 million dollars but he believed it would be better to keep it at $50 million.

The Hidden in Plain Sight report which was released in December also recommended that a central repository of companies’ slavery statements be created as well as the establishment of an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The event was hosted by the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Anti-Slavery Australia, STOP THE TRAFFIK and the United Nations Information Centre Canberra.

Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Canberra Christopher Woodthorpe delivered the UN Secretary–General’s message for the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Other guest speakers included Ambassador Luis C deBaca, former US Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; Carolyn Kitto, Director, Stop the Traffik; and Grace Thangasamy, Lawyer, Anti-Slavery Australia.

You can listen to the address of each speaker via the following links:

Chris Crewther on the Modern Slavery Act (18 mins).

Chris Woodthorpe on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (7 mins)

Grace Thangasamy spoke about the work of Anti-Slavery Australia (3 mins)

Carolyn Kitto spoke about buying ‘good chocolate’ this Easter (8 min 30 sec)

Luis C deBaca spoke about the problem of slavery (27 mins)

You can also read the following addresses:

Chris Crewther address

Chris Woodthorpe address