Government purchasing and the implementation of modern slavery legislation

Ingrid Landau, John Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), the Australian Government is required to report annually on how it is managing modern slavery risks in its own operations and supply chains. While underexamined in the literature to date, this feature of the Act is significant for its potential impact on Federal Government procurement processes and, through these, on business practice. In this article we examine the Australian Government’s recent efforts to integrate modern slavery considerations into its public procurement framework from a labour regulation and compliance perspective. We begin by contextualising these developments within the broader literature on government purchasing, labour standards and human rights. We identify two sets of regulatory challenges that arise when seeking to use public procurement to advance labour rights globally, and we provide a preliminary assessment of the Australian Government’s modern-slavery-related procurement initiatives in light of these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-380
Number of pages34
JournalThe Sydney Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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