Daily Bulletin


News

  • Written by Yvette Selim, Interim Deputy Director, Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney

With China’s western-most province of Xinjiang being turned into a mass internment camp, last night’s ABC Four Corners program reported on the Chinese Communist Party’s alleged plans to put up to a million detained Uyghurs to work.

The exposé highlights how global supply chains make it possible for the clothes you’re wearing, and many other things you own, to have been made using slavery.

The program featured the cases of several women who say they have been forced to work in textile factories. According to China scholar Adrian Zenz, government documents reveal plans for “re-education” through labour. Satellite photos show what look like large warehouses close to detention camps.

Read more: Explainer: who are the Uyghurs and why is the Chinese government detaining them?

Target, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Dangerfield, IKEA and H&M are among the brands in Australia sourcing cotton from Xinjiang, according to Four Corners. In response to questions from the ABC, Target and Cotton On declared they would investigate their relationships with suppliers.

Four Corners’ forced labour exposé shows why you might be wearing slave-made clothes Activists protest the treatment of Uyghur Muslims outside the headquarters of the European Union, in Brussels, in February 2019. Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Modern slavery: a snapshot

For many of us it is hard to believe modern slavery is now more prevalent than at any time in history.

But the ubiquity and lack of accountability in global supply chains mean an estimated 25 million people around the world are in forced labour. A further 15 million are in forced marriage.

About two-thirds of the total number of people in modern slavery are in the Asia-Pacific region, where most Australian companies source their materials and products.

The problem is so widespread it’s unlikely any companies’ operations or supply chains are completely free of modern slavery.

Yet many businesses are unaware of what modern slavery is and what it might look like in their operations and supply chains. And some companies – and their customers – may be complicit in creating a “race to bottom” by demanding cheaper goods and services without checks on social (and environmental) credentials.

Four Corners’ forced labour exposé shows why you might be wearing slave-made clothes Anti-Slavery Australia Australia’s legal reforms This problem was recognised with Australia passing modern slavery legislation last year. The Modern Slavery Act 2018 requires businesses of a certain size to report their efforts to keep their supply chains slavery-free. The requirements came into effect this month. Modelled on the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, Australia’s law requires businesses with a consolidated annual revenue of more than $100 million a year to publish an annual modern slavery statement. The statement must address seven mandatory criteria (including risks in the business’ operations and supply chains and the actions taken to address those risks). Read more: At last, Australia has a Modern Slavery Act. Here's what you'll need to know The government has the power to publicly name those that fail to comply, but not to fine or penalise them in other ways. It is hoped fear of shaming will be enough incentive to avoid the reputational, financial and other risks that might arise from public scrutiny. Without penalties, civil, shareholder and consumer activism will be crucial to motivate businesses. If nothing else, as shoppers we can become better informed about the risks in business supply chains and challenge companies and governments to do better through social media and other avenues. Each purchase of a good or service can be an ethical choice. More to be done In the end, the Australian modern slavery legislation is about ensuring businesses do their part to ensure the food, clothes and electronics we buy have not been made using modern slavery. Drawing on Anti-Slavery Australia’s legal casework experience with survivors of modern slavery, we also know victims aren’t just overseas. An estimated 1,500 people in Australia are victims of modern slavery. They are often migrants, who fear coming forward and are intimidated by the legal system. Read more: Human trafficking and slavery still happen in Australia. This comic explains how We continue to advocate for further improvements of the Modern Slavery Act, including for penalties and independent oversight. NSW has its own legislation that’s about to go under review and it includes an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and penalties for up to A$1.1 million for failing to comply or making false or misleading statements. These would be welcome additions to the federal regime, along with more support for survivors, and better monitoring and data collection. We’ve taken a step in the right direction, but as the ABC Four Corners’ exposé indicates, there is much more to be done. Anti-Slavery Australia, based at the University of Technology Sydney, is Australia’s only specialist legal research and policy centre focused on the abolition of modern slavery in all its forms. For more information or confidential legal advice, contact www.antislavery.org.au. For information and advice on forced marriage, see www.mybluesky.org.au.

Authors: Yvette Selim, Interim Deputy Director, Anti-Slavery Australia, University of Technology Sydney

Read more http://theconversation.com/four-corners-forced-labour-expose-shows-why-you-might-be-wearing-slave-made-clothes-115462

Writers Wanted

Racing 2-year-old horses is lucrative, but is it worth the risks?

arrow_forward

How to Sanitize Cloth Masks Properly

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Ray Hadley's interview with Scott Morrison

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.   HADLEY: I was just referring to this story from the Courier Mail, which you’ve probably caught up with today about t...

Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison - avatar Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Tips to find the best plastic manufacturing supplier for your needs

Plastics are very much an important part of all of our lives, but they’re particularly valuable to a wide variety of industries that rely on their production for their operations. The industries, ...

News Co - avatar News Co

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion