Today we convened the eighth meeting of the Australian Government's National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery.
Government Ministers responsible for aspects of Australia's response to human trafficking and slavery, including the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, and Minister for Justice Michael Keenan, attended the Roundtable.
The event brings together key representatives from 10 government agencies and experts from 16 civil society organisations and industry bodies, and serves as the Government's key mechanism for consultation on these important issues and was first convened in 2008.
At today's Roundtable it was announced that the Australian Government will strengthen its response to human trafficking and slavery following recommendations made by the Australian Government's multi-stakeholder Supply Chains Working Group. Over the next 12 months, the Australian Government will work collaboratively with business and civil society to:
- create a suite of awareness-raising materials for business;
- further consider the feasibility of a model for large businesses in Australia to publicly report on their actions to address supply chain exploitation;
- examine options for an awards program for businesses that take action to address supply chain exploitation; and
- explore the feasibility of a non-regulatory, voluntary code of conduct for high risk industries.
More than half of all human trafficking and slavery victims are located in the Asia-Pacific.
These initiatives will encourage and equip Australian businesses to take action against possible exploitation in their supply chains and ensure Australia continues to support efforts to combat human trafficking and slavery in our region.
The Australian Government is also actively working through the National Roundtable to address human trafficking and slavery in Australia and across our region.
The National Roundtable is currently pursuing a range of significant policy issues, including labour exploitation, forced marriage and international engagement.
For more information, visit the human trafficking page on the Attorney-General's Department website.