The NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner's Address
On 10 November 2022, Commissioner Cockayne gave a landmark address in the NSW Parliament House Theatrette. Following a Welcome to Country by CEO of the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council, Nathan Moran, and an introduction by NSW Attorney General, Mark Speakman SC MP, the Commissioner outlined why anti-slavery makes smart public policy, how modern slavery is a system failure, and why fighting it requires a system-wide effort.
“What you buy shows what you value”, said Anti-slaveryCommissioner, Dr James Cockayne. “With New South Wales being the 7thlargest economy in Asia, and the NSW government the 2nd largest buyer in the Australian economy, NSW public procurement has the potential to help end modern slaveryin NSW and beyond.”
Read the Commissioner's address, as it was delivered, here.
Commissioner Cockayne was also interviewed about the address by Andrew West of Radio National for the Religion and Ethics Report. Listen here.
The Commissioner's Office works with NSW government partners to remove products of modern slavery from NSW public procurement.
These changes were mandated by the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW) and the Modern Slavery Amendment Act 2021 (NSW). The acts create new due diligence and reporting obligations for government agencies, local councils and state owned corporations, and give the Anti-slavery Commissioner significant oversight powers.
NSW was the first state or territory in Australia to introduce standalone legislation to address modern slavery, the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW)- external site launch. Dr Cockayne is the first commissioner appointed to the role on a full-time basis. His 5-year term commenced on 1 August 2022. Professor Jennifer Burn served as Interim Anti-slavery Commissioner in 2018-2019.
The Anti-slavery Commissioner’s functions include:
advocating for and promoting action to combat modern slavery
identifying and providing assistance and support for victims of modern slavery
support to and oversight of NSW public procurement efforts to remove products of modern slavery from supply-chains
issuing codes of practice and maintaining a public register related to efforts to address modern slavery risks in supply-chains
raising community awareness of modern slavery.
NSW Government agencies and local councils are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that the goods and services they procure are not the product of modern slavery. State owned corporations are also required to monitor the risks of modern slavery in their supply chains.
Read about the Anti-slavery Commissioner’s ‘First principles’ in combatting modern slavery in New South Wales- external site launch.
To find out more about the Office’s work on public procurement, see the Anti-slavery Commissioner’s Discussion Paper #001.
Have a look at the Strategic Plan Discussion Paper (PDF, 450.7 KB) for ways that you can get involved and help.
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anti-slavery supply chain reporting submission by the end of this year here:
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To have your say directly to the NSW Anti-Slavery Commissioner Commissioner Cocckayne, follow the information here:
Discussion Paper #001 - NSW Public Procurement and Modern Slavery
This consultation process will explore the questions: What should anti-slavery action in NSW look like by the end of 2025? And how do we get there?
Invitation to respond: Responses are invited to the discussion paper NSW Public Procurement and Modern Slavery (PDF, 793.7 KB). Responses will inform the Commissioner's work with stakeholders to develop a clear, shared framework for driving up the effectiveness of modern slavery due diligence in NSW public procurement.
Responses to the Discussion Paper are invited by email to email@example.com- external sitelaunch- external site launch until 25 November 2022.
To book in Andrea Consults to assist you to make a Government Submission
and learn how to lobby, secure your spot here:
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