Modern slavery, though not defined in law, ” refers to situations like forced to work overtime without being paid, children being forced to pick cotton by the Uzbekistan government when they should be in school, women being threatened with violence if they don’t complete an order in time and workers having their passports taken away until they work off what it cost for their transportation to bring them to the factory, their living quarters and food.
A Modern Slavery Statement Commonwealth Modern Slavery Bill (The Modern Slavery Bill 2018) was passed by both Houses on 29 November 2018 and came into force on 1 January 2019.
The term “modern slavery” refers only to the worst forms of exploitation, and not to other serious breaches of human rights such as the denial of freedom of association or the denial of worker safety, such as at Rana Plaza clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh in which more than 1,000 garment workers died when the building collapsed in 2013.
The Australian Act seeks to improve on the UK Act First, it doesn’t allow reporting entities to declare “no risk” as in the UK, where companies can fulfil their legislative requirements by simply submitting a page stating they have no risk and therefore have taken no action without having to substantiate that assessment. Secondly, the Australian Act proscribes mandatory reporting criteria
A modern slavery statement should:
Identify modern slavery risks in its operations and supply chains;
Identify due diligence, remediation processes and staff training to address the risks; and
Assess how effective those actions have been.
Brands, Designers, Fashion Lovers; we all need to reflect on how their consumption has an undeniably negative impact on both planet and people. “Fashion shouldn’t cost lives and it shouldn’t cost us our planet"