Millions of people around the world today are subjected to modern slavery practices, such as servitude and forced labour. Australian businesses and consumers are benefiting from modern slavery in supply chains, including through access to cheaper labour and services. These are grave violations of human rights  with devastating impacts which have no place in our community or in the supply chains of our goods and services. The public consultation paper and submission process are available here.

Gail Broadbent is the Consumers’ Federation of Australia representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee MB-024 Sustainable Procurement. The Committee contributed to the development of the first international standard on sustainable procurement. This entails making purchasing decisions that meet an organization’s needs in a way that benefits them, society and the environment. It involves ensuring that a company’s suppliers behave ethically, that the products and services purchased are sustainable and that such purchasing decisions help to address social, economic and environmental issues. Read more here

The Australian Government has a strong record of working with the community to combat modern slavery, including through the multi-stakeholder National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery. The consultation paper outlines the Australian Government’s proposal to create a Modern Slavery in Supply Chains Reporting Requirement. This will require large corporations and other entities operating in Australia to publish annual statements outlining their actions to address this insidious crime.

Submissions are open until 20 October 2017, and can be made here

Consumers Federation of Australia has representatives on over 50 Standards Australia Technical Committees as part of the CFA Standards Project; if you are interested in finding out more about the Project and making the consumer voice heard as a volunteer CFA Standards Representative please contact the Standards Coordinator standards@consumeraction.org.au

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