26 September 2023

New strategy to take on modern slavery

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The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has launched a new strategy to combat modern slavery and human trafficking.

Releasing its second International Engagement Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, DFAT said the Strategy provided a comprehensive and coordinated framework to inform Australia’s international efforts to help eradicate human trafficking and modern slavery, with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.

“Australia will deepen its engagement in the Pacific over the life of the Strategy,” DFAT said.

“Our vision is a future where no one is subjected to human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery, and the human rights of all are valued equally,” it said.

Welcoming the new Strategy, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne said it aimed to strengthen the systems in Australia’s region to detect, prevent and respond to human trafficking and modern slavery crimes.

“We will always shine a light on these abhorrent crimes of coercion and control, which have a life-long impact on survivors and inflict lasting damage on communities,” Senator Payne said.

“At the end of last year, we also legislated to enable the Government to sanction for serious human rights abuses, such as these crimes,” she said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the likelihood of people (especially women and children in our region) falling prey to modern slavery, exacerbated by rising instability and aggression, and frequent natural disasters around the world.”

Senator Payne said the Strategy also included funding for research to address data gaps and provide targeted assistance to Pacific Governments to strengthen labour standards and enforcement, particularly in the fisheries sector.

DFAT’s 59-page Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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