This precedent has been authored by Dr. Gordon Hughes, Principal, Davies Collison Cave Law.
Under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (Act), corporations with an annual turnover in excess of $100m have an obligation to publish an annual report regarding steps taken to ensure that modern slavery practices do not exist in their supply chains. “modern slavery” envisages activity involving sexual servitude, child exploitation and abuse, forced labour, deceptive recruiting, forced marriage, trafficking in persons and debt bondage.
More specifically, “modern slavery” could be defined as:
• an offence under division 270 or 271 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth);
• an offence under either of those divisions if the conduct took place in Australia
; • trafficking in persons, as defined in article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, done at New York on 15 November 2000 ( ATS 27); or
• the worst forms of child labour, as defined in article 3 of the ILO Convention (No. 182) Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, done at Geneva on 17 June 1999 ( ATS 38).
Customers seeking to encourage ethical business practices may supplement this statutory obligation with a contractual obligation, and that contractual obligation may be applied to smaller corporations which would not otherwise fall within the scope of the Act.