The Australian Catholic Anti-slavery Network has welcomed the introduction of legislation by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus yesterday to establish an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
The Modern Slavery Amendment (Australian Anti-Slavery Commissioner) Bill 2023 amends the Modern Slavery Act 2018 to establish the core functions of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
The commissioner’s functions will include engaging and supporting victims and survivors of modern slavery and supporting business to address risks of modern slavery practices in their operations and supply chains.
A budget of $8 million over four years has been allocated to support the establishment of the role.
“ACAN welcomes this major step forward in progressing the Government’s anti-slavery commitments. The role of a national Anti-slavery Commissioner has been overwhelmingly supported by business, civil society and the political spectrum. ACAN supports the legislation and looks forward to working with whomever is eventually appointed to the role,” said ACAN executive officer Alison Rahill.
The bill confers a number of important functions on the Commissioner including raising awareness of modern slavery in Australia and supporting victims and survivors by providing information about resources, programs and services.
Importantly, the commissioner will engage with victims and survivors of modern slavery to ensure their voices inform the design of measures to address modern slavery.
The Commissioner will work to support business to address risks of modern slavery practices in their operations and supply chains.