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Review of the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Australian Government has released for public consultation an issues paper on the effectiveness of the first three years of the Modern Slavery Act 2018.

Human trafficking and all forms of modern slavery have no place in our society and my department works closely with the Australian Federal Police and other agencies to disrupt these crimes and support victims and survivors.

Today's issues paper is part of the statutory review of the Act being completed by Professor John McMillan, AO.

This review will help inform the Government's commitments to tackling modern slavery at home and abroad, including the appointment of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner to work with business, civil society, NGOs and State and Territory governments to identify and address modern slavery risks in business operations and global supply chains.

The issues paper reveals significant engagement by business and civil society with the Modern Slavery Act, with more than 6,000 entities reporting under the Act. There is significant work to do to improve compliance with the Act, although there has been steady improvement in its early years.

The Albanese Government has committed to introducing penalties for non-compliance, which aim to hold eligible companies to account. The implementation of this policy will be worked through with businesses, civil society groups and NGOs.

The three-month consultation period for the review closes on 22 November 2022.

Information about the review, including the Issues Paper, submission lodgement, the online survey, and the review Terms of Reference, is available on the Attorney-General Department's website.

The review will be completed by 31 March 2023, followed by a final report to be tabled in Parliament.