World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
Today, on World Day against Trafficking in Persons, I am pleased toannounce Australia has joined a global awareness-raising initiative to fighthuman trafficking and its impact on society.
Joining the United Nations' Blue Heart Campaign underlinesAustralia's commitment to efforts to eradicate human trafficking and modernslavery, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals.
More than 40 million people worldwide are victims of modern slavery, with over70 per cent being women and children. Thisabhorrent criminal activity crosses borders and touches every corner of theglobe, affecting some of the world's most vulnerable people.
Australia continues to lead efforts to eradicate these heinous crimes ona domestic, regional and global level.
Domestically,Australia has passed a Modern Slavery Act requiring the CommonwealthGovernment and more than 3,000 large businesses to publish annual statements ontheir actions to address modern slavery in their supply chains and operations.
Regionally, Australia is promoting partnerships through theco-chairing of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons andRelated Transnational Crime.
In addition,Australia is delivering a series of development programs to help combat human trafficking in the Pacific andSouth East Asia, including the flagship $80 million ASEAN-Australia CounterTrafficking Program.
Australia plays an important leadership role in Alliance 8.7, a global partnership between governments, businessand civil society to tackle these crimes.
In September, Australia will co-launch the Financial Sector Commissionon Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking's Unlocking Potential: A Blueprintfor Mobilizing Finance Against Slavery and Human Trafficking, which aims toharness the efforts of global financial institutions.