AICD submission on the Australian Anti-Slavery Commissioner

Wednesday, 31 January 2024

On 22 January, the AICD provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the Modern Slavery Amendment (Australian Anti-Slavery Commissioner) Bill 2023 (Bill).

The AICD strongly supported the establishment of an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and its proposed functions outlined in the Bill with a clearly defined focus on education, awareness raising and coordination.

The AICD considers that there is an opportunity for the Anti-Slavery Commissioner to play a pivotal role in supporting entities meet their reporting obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (Act) through a range of initiatives to assist entities in monitoring and remediating identified risks of modern slavery.

The AICD's submission recommends that the remit and functions of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner include:

  • Developing codes of practice and certification measures for suppliers to reduce duplicative supplier due diligence and verification processes within sectors, and provide greater certainty and assurance for entities on compliance within supply chains;
  • Publishing an annual list of high risk regions, locations, industries, products, suppliers or supply chains to serve as a reference point for entities in undertaking due diligence activities;
  • Developing practical guidance for high-risk sectors, NFPs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including by promoting best practice and drawing on successful domestic and international examples;
  • Conducting thematic or sectoral assessments of modern slavery statements to provide real-word insights into current practices and highlight areas of due diligence and reporting that require improvement; and
  • Facilitating collaboration across industry, Government and civil society to alleviate geopolitical and other barriers to robust supply chain analysis.

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