2016 Faith Leaders Letter2nd December 2016 The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MPPrime MinisterParliament HouseCANBERRA ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister,
Today we write to publicly urge the Federal Government to take the first steps towards a Modern Slavery Act for Australia. We also call on business leaders to support a Modern Slavery Act.
Australia has robust legislation criminalizing the spectrum of slavery and slavery-like practices and we believe a Modern Slavery Act would be a vital next step. Australia has an opportunity to lead and an opportunity to learn from what has worked and not worked in other countries to identify, mitigate and eradicate modern slavery.
Last year on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery 2 December 2015 the Federal Government endorsed the launch of the Australian Freedom Network. The Hon Julie Bishop joined with faith leaders in Parliament House as we united our focus and commitment on eradicating contemporary forms of slavery, such as trafficking in persons, sexual exploitation, the worst forms of child labour and forced marriage.
We were very pleased to see the Federal Government’s commitments announced in May to curb exploitation that is rife in some industries. We commend the Federal Government for all of these important commitments.
As faith leaders united against modern slavery, we express our concerns about the welfare and human rights of thousands of migrant workers who are either at risk of or are experiencing forced labour in Australia. We believe it is vital that Australian governments and businesses take all reasonable steps to ensure their procurement activities ensure the people producing the goods or services have decent jobs and are free from forced labour or human trafficking.
Please click HERE for a more detailed statment from the Australian Freedom Network around our ask. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the proposition of a Modern Slavery Act for Australia with the Federal Government. Thank you for your consideration.
James Condon, The Salvation ArmyChair, The Australian Freedom Network