Today, Australia's response to abolishing modern slavery has taken an important next-step with the passage of the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 through the Senate.
Assistant Minister for Home Affairs, Senator Linda Reynolds has welcomed the passage of this Bill, which will require more than 3,000 large businesses and other entities to be transparent and accountable about their modern slavery risks.
Assistant Minister Reynolds said the Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement established by this Bill was a significant milestone in Australia's efforts to combat modern slavery.
"The United Nations estimates there are 40 million victims of forced labour globally, many of whom are exploited in global supply chains, including in the agriculture, manufacturing and construction industries," Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
"The implementation of the Reporting Requirement means entities with more than $100 million in annual consolidated revenue will be required to publish annual statements explaining their actions to address modern slavery risks in their operations and supply chains.
"On a personal note, I am delighted that when this legislation passes through the House of Representatives, Australia will be the first nation to recognise orphanage trafficking as a form of modern slavery."
Reporting entities with activities or supply chains which involve orphanages will need to assess and report on any risks relating to modern slavery in these operations.
The Government will also establish an online public register for all statements.
This landmark initiative will promote transparency and ensure the community can easily access and compare statements.
"Australian goods and services have a high risk of being tainted by modern slavery and our large businesses are exposed to risks here and overseas," Assistant Minister Reynolds said.
"This Bill will support our business community to identify and address their modern slavery risks by establishing a practical, risk‑based reporting framework.
"Consumers and investors will also benefit by having access to more information about modern slavery risks in the goods and services they use every day."
Entities covered by the reporting requirement will begin reporting from 2019, with the first statements due in 2020.
The Government will continue to work business and civil society to provide detailed guidance for businesses about how to comply.