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Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Consultation International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery

In March 2020 the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade released a Consultation Paper that provided an opportunity for survivors, civil society, academia and business to the Australian Government develop a new International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. 

The Salvation Army welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the department’s consultation to inform the next International Strategy on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. Our submission addresses all consultation questions and our answers are summarized below: 

Do the proposed objectives capture the priorities for Australia’s international engagement on human trafficking and modern slavery in the Indo-Pacific region? 

  • In The Salvation Army’s view, the objectives proposed in the consultation paper capture most of Australia’s priorities for international engagement on slavery and trafficking. In our view, these may form the basis for a robust strategy that would greatly improve upon the design of the previous International Strategy. However, a second and equally essential component is specific and measurable action plans to operationalise strategic aims. 

Should there be additional objectives included in the scope of the 2020 Strategy? What are they? 

  • The Salvation Army recommends that the Strategy should also include a specific objective of ‘strengthening the connectedness between Australia’s domestic and international responses’. Whilst separate, Australia’s national and international work is interdependent—strong performance on the domestic front provides the expertise and credibility for Australia’s overseas programs; strong performance overseas can help to prevent trafficking into Australia from the region. 

Do the proposed objectives adequately support action on human trafficking and modern slavery prevention, enforcement/prosecution, victim support and partnerships? 

  • Improved connectedness between the national and international strategies would ensure Australia is delivering proportionate outcome as its Indo-Pacific neighbours. 
  • Whilst Australia has been a global leader in its passage of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), it has not recognised or prosecuted a single case of modern slavery in supply chains. Whilst domestic performance is a matter for the National Action Plan to address directly, it cannot be held as separate to the International Strategy, as it provides the basis for Australia’s credibility with its Indo-Pacific partners and other international bodies, such as the Bali Process. 

How can the 2020 Strategy, including its design, implementation and monitoring, best be informed by the voices of survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery? 

  • We strongly support the Department’s focus on building avenues for direct consultation with people with lived experience and believe we can offer the Department unique insights and support to do this. We would welcome an opportunity to share our learnings from the Freedom Advocates program to assist the Department to develop a robust, supported model for direct consultation between victim-survivors and government. 

How can the 2020 Strategy support a stronger emphasis on evidence and research to tackle human trafficking and modern slavery in the Indo-Pacific region? 

  • We recommend adopting a combination of evaluation methods to track both outputs (i.e. number of trainings delivered, participants reached, resources distributed, etc.) and outcomes (i.e. what changed as a result of activities and outputs). The evaluation framework should be based on a sound theory of change embedded at the strategic level, structured through a logic model that articulates what the Department expects to happen because of particular actions. 

 

The Salvation Army continues to work with the Australian Government, and partners in the sector to address human trafficking and end modern slavery.

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