Showing posts from March, 2018

Scourge of modern slavery that taints Australian business

My great great grandfather was an indentured labourer. I do not know exactly what happened to him, other than that he was taken from India to an island off Southern Africa and forced to work for the British Empire.

I'd be forgiven for thinking his experience sits in the past. British philanthropist William Wilberforce helped win the battle against slavery in the 1800s.

But the reality today is different. Wilberforce would be astounded to discover that more than two centuries after his death there are significant reports of “modern slavery” in environments as diverse as the factories of Dhaka, London’s backstreets and Canberra’s embassies and brothels.

Many of those who have campaigned for an Australian Modern Slavery Act have seen it up close. One is a daughter of mining magnate Andrew Forrest who met forced sex workers as young as nine while volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal.

Many Australians are the descendants of slaves. Convicts supplied slave labour after settlement. …