VIDEO: Michelle Grattan on the family law inquiry - and the UN climate change summit

University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor Leigh Sullivan discusses Scott Morrison’s new family law inquiry with Michelle Grattan. They also speak of the developments in the Tamil family from...

Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra - avatar Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Climate explained: why don't we have electric aircraft?

CC BY-NDClimate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.If you have a question you’d l...

Dries Verstraete, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Design and Propulsion, University of Sydney - avatar Dries Verstraete, Senior Lecturer in Aerospace Design and Propulsion, University of Sydney

Be excellent: how ancient virtues can guide our responses to the climate crisis

What would Socrates say about coal mining? Or recycling? www.shutterstock.comAs world chiefs and youth leaders gather in New York at the United Nations Climate Action Summit, many of us as individual...

Roger Crisp, Professorial Fellow, Dianoia Institute of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University - avatar Roger Crisp, Professorial Fellow, Dianoia Institute of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University

A shot of hope in the face of climate despair

Sunrise at Beachmere, Queensland.Mark Wasser/FlickrHope, like a slinky, springs eternal. While rage, fear and disgust are all appropriate responses to the realities of climate change (which we have ex...

Madeleine De Gabriele, Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment - avatar Madeleine De Gabriele, Deputy Editor: Energy + Environment

It's safest to avoid e-cigarettes altogether – unless vaping is helping you quit smoking

The recent vaping-related deaths in the US have brought the issue into the spotlight around the world.From shutterstock.comHealth authorities in the United States are investigating 530 cases of lung i...

Coral Gartner, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland - avatar Coral Gartner, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Queensland

What is the charge of concealment of birth and why is it still happening in Australia?

There has been a long history of women being charged with, and prosecuted for, concealment of birth both within WA and the rest of Australia.ShutterstockIn August, a 24-year-old woman appeared before ...

Amanda Gardiner, Lecturer, Edith Cowan University - avatar Amanda Gardiner, Lecturer, Edith Cowan University

We want to learn about climate change from weather presenters, not politicians

Melbourne's ABC weather presenter Paul Higgins discussing a trend towards warmer April days.ABC/MCCCRHOne of the great paradoxes of climate change communication in Australia is that politicians comman...

David Holmes, Director, Climate Change Communication Research Hub, Monash University - avatar David Holmes, Director, Climate Change Communication Research Hub, Monash University

Another stolen generation looms unless Indigenous women fleeing violence can find safe housing

In Western Australia more than half the children placed in state care are Aboriginal. The state government committed this month to reducing this over-representation, in a move that parallels the Closi...

Kyllie Cripps, Scientia Felllow and Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law UNSW Sydney, UNSW - avatar Kyllie Cripps, Scientia Felllow and Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law UNSW Sydney, UNSW

Ignoring young people's climate change fears is a recipe for anxiety

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.Thousands of school students across Australia are expected ...

Rachael Sharman, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of the Sunshine Coast - avatar Rachael Sharman, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of the Sunshine Coast

Friday essay: on the ending of a friendship

ShutterstockFriendship is an incomparable, immeasurable boon to me, and a source of life — not metaphorically but literally. -Simone WeilAbout eight years ago, I went to dinner with a dear frie...

Kevin John Brophy, Emeritus Professor of Creative writing, University of Melbourne - avatar Kevin John Brophy, Emeritus Professor of Creative writing, University of Melbourne

We don't need another inquiry into family law – we need action

Over the next 12 months, a joint parliamentary committee will examine Australia’s family law system. It will be led by conservative Liberal MP Kevin Andrews and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson...

Miranda Kaye, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney - avatar Miranda Kaye, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Technology Sydney

Procurement’s role in climate change: putting government money where policy needs to go

Governments can choose to spend money in ways that support climate change policy, including a shift to electric vehicle fleets.from www.shutterstock.com, CC BY-NDThis story is part of Covering Climate...

Barbara Allen, Senior Lecturer in Public Management, Victoria University of Wellington - avatar Barbara Allen, Senior Lecturer in Public Management, Victoria University of Wellington

Why do men have nipples?

Men have nipples because of a quirk in how embryos develop. But that's only part of the story of this seemingly redundant body part.from www.shutterstock.comWomen’s nipples have long been a sour...

Michelle Moscova, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy, UNSW - avatar Michelle Moscova, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy, UNSW

Your brain has 'landmarks' that drive neural traffic and help you make hard decisions

The human brain has an estimated 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion neural connections. shutterstockBrain regions exchange information by sending and receiving signals through a network of nerve con...

Caio Seguin, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne - avatar Caio Seguin, PhD candidate, University of Melbourne

With China’s western-most province of Xinjiang being turned into a mass internment camp, last night’s ABC Four Corners program reported on the Chinese Communist Party’s alleged plans to put up to a million detained Uyghurs to work.

The exposé highlights how global supply chains make it possible for the clothes you’re wearing, and many other things you own, to have been made using slavery.

The program featured the cases of several women who say they have been forced to work in textile factories. According to China scholar Adrian Zenz, government documents reveal plans for “re-education” through labour. Satellite photos show what look like large warehouses close to detention camps.

Read more: Explainer: who are the Uyghurs and why is the Chinese government detaining them?

Target, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Dangerfield, IKEA and H&M are among the brands in Australia sourcing cotton from Xinjiang, according to Four Corners. In response to questions from the ABC, Target and Cotton On declared they would investigate their relationships with suppliers.

Activists protest the treatment of Uyghur Muslims outside the headquarters of the European Union, in Brussels, in February 2019. Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

Modern slavery: a snapshot

For many of us it is hard to believe modern slavery is now more prevalent than at any time in history.

But the ubiquity and lack of accountability in global supply chains mean an estimated 25 million people around the world are in forced labour. A further 15 million are in forced marriage.

About two-thirds of the total number of people in modern slavery are in the Asia-Pacific region, where most Australian companies source their materials and products.

The problem is so widespread it’s unlikely any companies’ operations or supply chains are completely free of modern slavery.

Yet many businesses are unaware of what modern slavery is and what it might look like in their operations and supply chains. And some companies – and their customers – may be complicit in creating a “race to bottom” by demanding cheaper goods and services without checks on social (and environmental) credentials.

Anti-Slavery Australia Australia’s legal reforms This problem was recognised with Australia passing modern slavery legislation last year. The Modern Slavery Act 2018 requires businesses of a certain size to report their efforts to keep their supply chains slavery-free. The requirements came into effect this month. Modelled on the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015, Australia’s law requires businesses with a consolidated annual revenue of more than $100 million a year to publish an annual modern slavery statement. The statement must address seven mandatory criteria (including risks in the business’ operations and supply chains and the actions taken to address those risks). Read more: At last, Australia has a Modern Slavery Act. Here's what you'll need to know The government has the power to publicly name those that fail to comply, but not to fine or penalise them in other ways. It is hoped fear of shaming will be enough icentive to avoid the reputational, financial and other risks that might arise from public scrutiny. Without penalties, civil, shareholder and consumer activism will be crucial to motivate businesses. If nothing else, as shoppers we can become better informed about the risks in business supply chains and challenge companies and governments to do better through social media and other avenues. Each purchase of a good or service can be an ethical choice. More to be done In the end, the Australian modern slavery legislation is about ensuring businesses do their part to ensure the food, clothes and electronics we buy have not been made using modern slavery. Drawing on Anti-Slavery Australia’s legal casework experience with survivors of modern slavery, we also know victims aren’t just overseas. An estimated 1,500 people in Australia are victims of modern slavery. They are often migrants, who fear coming forward and are intimidated by the legal system. Read more: Human trafficking and slavery still happen in Australia. This comic explains how We continue to advocate for further improvements of the Modern Slavery Act, including for penalties and independent oversight. NSW has its own legislation that’s about to go under review and it includes an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and penalties for up to A$1.1 million for failing to comply or making false or misleading statements. These would be welcome additions to the federal regime, along with more support for survivors, and better monitoring and data collection. We’ve taken a step in the right direction, but as the ABC Four Corners’ exposé indicates, there is much more to be done. Anti-Slavery Australia, based at the University of Technology Sydney, is Australia’s only specialist legal research and policy centre focused on the abolition of modern slavery in all its forms. For more information or confidential legal advice, contact www.antislavery.org.au. For information and advice on forced marriage, see www.mybluesky.org.au.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/four-corners-forced-labour-expose-shows-why-you-might-be-wearing-slave-made-clothes-115462