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Establishing Australia’s first Anti-Slavery Commissioner

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Today I introduced a Bill to establish Australia’s first federal Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

The Modern Slavery Amendment (Australian Anti-Slavery Commissioner) Bill 2023 is a landmark reform which delivers on our election commitment to add a new, independent pillar to Australia’s comprehensive response to modern slavery.

The Bill amends the Modern Slavery Act 2018 to establish the core functions of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner, including 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.

The Commissioner’s role and functions will complement the work undertaken across Government, business and civil society to prevent and respond to modern slavery.

The Commissioner will play a key role in helping to shape implementation of future modern slavery reforms, including those which may arise from the recent statutory review of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, which the Government is currently considering.

The Government has committed $8 million over four years to support the Commissioner’s establishment and operations.

Modern slavery encompasses a range of serious exploitative practices, such as trafficking in persons, deceptive recruiting, debt bondage, forced labour and forced marriage.

This commitment aids the Albanese Government’s ambitious agenda to address the insidious scourge of human trafficking and modern slavery.