Public consultation paper on the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-2024

February 10, 2020

ALHR has made a submission in response to the public consultation paper ( Consultation Paper ) on the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-2024 ( 2020-2024 Plan ).

We welcome the 2020-2024 Plan as an ongoing commitment of the Australian Government to its whole-of-Government strategy to address and respond to modern slavery, including its plan to support the effective implementation of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) ( Act ).

ALHR has previously made submissions regarding the Act, and continues to support and advocate for its effective implementation as a means of strengthening Australia’s domestic response to modern slavery.

Further, ALHR welcomes the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the 2020-24 Plan reflects emerging issues and trends, and a whole-of-community perspective. It is vital that the 2020-2024 Plan reflects the current issues facing individuals, the community, businesses and the nation as a whole regarding modern slavery, in order for the plan to be relevant and effective.

ALHR’s submission makes the following recommendations:

  1. Goal 2 should be expanded to include engagement with ‘the Australian and international community to understand and combat modern slavery’ .
  2. Businesses be provided with further education and guidance on how to implement a gender lens in their identification of, and responses to, modern slavery risks and when undertaking human rights due diligence.
  3. Goal 4 should be expanded to ‘ enhance ’ as well as ‘maintain’ the current legislative framework.
  4. In realising Goal 10 detailed information about non-judicial remedies should be provided to businesses, individuals and the community to empower victims of modern slavery to report and speak out.
  5. An additional goal to ‘engage the Australian business sector to understand and combat modern slavery’ should be included.
  6. A list of reporting entities should be made publicly available to ensure compliance under the Act.
  7. There should be an appointment of a Commonwealth Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
  8. The Government should ensure victims of modern slavery are empowered through their meaningful participation in the consultation process in the preparation of the 2020-2024 Plan.
  9. When developing its evaluation framework, the Government should consider the risks faced by victims in the collection of data to measure the effectiveness of the 2020-2024 Plan.
  10. The Government should consider establishing a centre tasked specifically with developing state-of-the-art data and evaluation measures to support an evidence-based approach to addressing modern slavery.
  11. The Government should continue to communicate and collaborate with civil society to ensure that consultation and participation occurs during the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the 202-2024 Plan, in particular the evaluation framework for the plan.

Read ALHR’s submission in full here