Australian Senate passes bill banning imports made using forced labour



The Australian Senate has passed a law aimed at ending the country’s participation in global slave labour. The Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced by Forced Labour) Bill 2021, proposed by independent senator Rex Patrick, seeks to ban the import of products produced in whole or part by forced labour.

The bill needs approval by the House of Representatives in the coming months before it can officially become Australian law.

If the bill passes through the country’s House of Representatives, goods from any country that are found to have been produced by forced labour will be subject to the same penalties that apply to the import of other prohibited items.

“Slave labour is abhorrent. It’s human cost is horrendous and it leaves Australian businesses competing against imports on unfair terms,” Patrick told the Senate on August 23.

Though the Liberal–National Coalition, formed by the Liberal Party of Australia and the National Party of Australia, opposed Patrick’s bill in the Senate, stating it needed to be ‘deferred’ until further analysis is done by the government, Patrick insisted action needed to be taken now as a two to three-year wait through gradual legislative and administrative action was ‘unacceptable’.

Despite the Coalition’s opposition, support from the Labour Party and other crossbenchers, including the Greens and One Nation, gave the bill the majority vote it needed to pass.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

The Australian Senate has passed a law aimed at ending participation in global slave labour. The Customs Amendment (Banning Goods Produced by Forced Labour) Bill 2021, proposed by senator Rex Patrick, seeks to ban the import of products produced by forced labour. The bill needs approval by the House of Representatives in the coming months.





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