Public consultation paper on the International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

May 17, 2020

ALHR has made a submission in response to the public consultation paper (Consultation Paper) on the International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery (2020 Strategy). 

ALHR welcomes the 2020 Strategy as an ongoing commitment of the Australian Government in supporting international efforts to help eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery. The 2020 Strategy will build on the 2016 International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Slavery (2016 Strategy) and complement the proposed Goal 11 of the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-24 (2020-24 Plan).

ALHR has previously made a submission regarding the 2020-24 Plan, and continues to support and advocate for the introduction and effective implementation of the 2020-24 Plan as a means of strengthening Australia’s domestic response to modern slavery. Further, ALHR welcomes the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the 2020 Strategy reflects current and emerging priorities for Australia’s international engagement over the next five years. It is vital that the 2020 Strategy addresses the complex drivers for human trafficking and modern slavery, with a focus on the specific issues facing the Indo-Pacific region countries.

ALHR’s submission makes the following recommendations:

  1. Objective 1 be expanded to account for diverse drivers of human trafficking and modern slavery including structural conditions generated by both policies of the Australian Government and practices of Australian businesses.
  2. The Australian Government’s strategy on human trafficking and modern slavery form part of Australia’s serious and organised crime and counter terrorism strategies.
  3. Objective 3 be expanded to include another action calling for the Government to promote understanding within the Australian business sector about relevant UNGPs and human rights laws and standards, about how to identify risks of modern slavery and how to effectively complete a modern slavery statement which complies with the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).
  4. That the 2020 Strategy include an additional objective which addresses the need for cross-sectoral collaboration in responding to national and regional emergencies or disasters (such as the COVID-19 pandemic) and to ensure that the most vulnerable, including those working in supply chains, are not disproportionately affected.
  5. That the 2020 Strategy include an objective which addresses the nexus between the impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups, including marginalised rural populations, which increases their risk to human trafficking and modern slavery.
  6. The proposed objectives in the 2020 Strategy be expanded to adequately support actions by the Government to ensure survivor support.
  7. That child survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery be included and participate in the design, implementation and monitoring processes of the 2020 Strategy.
  8. Information sharing and collaboration between the Australian Government and other relevant national and inter-governmental bodies in order to assist in developing effective consultation criteria or minimum standards when incorporating or reviewing survivors’ testimonies.
  9. That the Australian Government encourages other countries, including in the Indo-Pacific region, to work towards developing a shared comprehensive database compiling of available national statistics or, at a minimum, fosters collaboration in producing comparable statistical data on human trafficking and modern slavery.
  10. That the Australian Government encourage other countries in the Indo-Pacific region to set up collaborative mechanisms between governmental authorities, civil society, the business sector and international organisations, to assist in data-sharing to facilitate the proper identification and provision of services and assistance to survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery.
  11. The Australian Government should include the offence of organ trafficking in its policy documents, including the 2020 Strategy, whenever a definition of modern slavery is provided, particularly where such documents are made publicly available.

Read the submission in full here