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Australia Mulls Modern Slavery Law Expansion

In Australia’s Parliament, the Attorney General’s Department has tabled a new report presenting recommendations to strengthen the country’s Modern Slavery Act. The expansion would include penalties for failing to report, submitting a report with false information, or failing to implement a due diligence system. The Act, which commenced on 1 January 2019, already requires large businesses and other entities in Australia to submit an annual statement to the government on how they are addressing modern slavery risks in their domestic and global operations and supply chains. The report makes a total 30 recommendations to amend the Modern Slavery Act to strengthen and sharpen the reporting process and context. These recommendations include requiring entities to implement a due diligence system beyond reporting and impose a duty to take effective action to identify and assess risks and track performance in addressing them, as well as implementing a mechanism for declaring high-risk regions, locations, industries, products, suppliers or supply chains. It would also see the implementation of an Anti-Slavery Commissioner that would monitor and oversee compliance with the requirements under the Act. 

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