Published on 13/12/17

Ethical Clothing Australia supports introduction of a Modern Slavery Act


Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA®) supports moves towards the establishment of a Modern Slavery Act (MSA) in Australia.


The introduction of an MSA is currently subject to an inquiry being overseen federally by the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-Committee.


ECA National Manager Angela Bell said the introduction of such an act would be welcomed if it introduced greater supply chain transparency across the operations of Australian businesses in textile, clothing and footwear industry.


“ECA accredits companies for their Australian-based manufacturing, so you can be sure that the people involved in local production are being paid appropriately, receiving their entitlements and are working under the right workplace health and safety conditions.”


“We believe that the introduction of an MSA could help improve the standard of businesses operating overseas.”


While there are a number of companies already voluntarily taking steps to minimise the risk of exploitation throughout their supply chains globally, a reporting requirement under a MSA would mean Australian companies would need to adhere to the same standard and it would create greater visibility of their supply chains.


ECA support moves towards a more accountable garment industry where companies take responsibility for their social impact and awaits details on the size and scale of the businesses that would be captured in an MSA.


It is also hoped that credible third-party certification bodies, such as ECA, are included in the MSA as a valuable business resource for supply chain management.


For further comment, please contact the ECA office: (03) 9419 0222.