The Australian Parliament passed the Modern Slavery Bill 2018 on Thursday, November 29.
Anti human trafficking consultant and activist Andrea Tokaji will now host a forum to help explain the importance of the new regulations, and the effect on supply chains.
Speakers will include Home Affairs department lawyers who drafted the Modern Slavery Bill, business professionals, anti-slavery legal activists and supply chain specialists.
Ms Tokaji said the legislation would have a disproportionate effect on the capital region, with small to medium enterprises in the region often supplying government departments.
“Overlap between NSW state legislation and the new Federal legislation is likely to create headaches for regional businesses which operate across the ACT-NSW border,” Ms Tokaji said.
The consolidation of agricultural businesses in the Monaro will produce a knock-on effect for agribusinesses and their suppliers.
The forum will be held to mark UN Human Rights Day on Monday, December 10. This year is significant, commemorating the 70th anniversary from the adoption by the UN of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The document was the first official international accord to extend rights regardless of “race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.
Danish business consultant, author and China expert Carsten Primdal will be a keynote speakers at the forum.
Mr Primdal said if a business supplied an organisation with a large turnover, then “expect to see compliance requirements written into the procurement T&Cs and be ready to support your clients with information for their reporting requirements”.
“Slavery is and has been illegal for many years, the game changer is that corporates can no longer turn a blind eye,” Mr Primdal said.
“They need to report transparently, which makes them more susceptible to scrutiny. In my experience, most companies know that they don’t know enough.
“When a problem unexpectedly surfaces, many have a knee-jerk reaction, throwing themselves at the most standard solution, auditing.
“Auditing suppliers plays a good and important role in mitigating the risks, but the response needs to be more nuanced.
“Matching the priorities with a plan for action is crucial to get the best result, even if it doesn’t instantly ‘fix’ the supply chain.”
The forum will be held on Monday, December 10, 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the Legal Aid offices at 2 Allsop Street, Civic.