The James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI) welcomes the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner’s first Strategic Plan, Working Together for Real Freedom, launched this morning at an event at NSW Parliament House in Sydney.

The Strategic Plan sets out the Commissioner’s roadmap to tackle modern slavery in the state over the next three years. It emphasises the importance of working together, across government, civil society, unions, business, media, researchers, and affected communities, including people with lived experience to drive positive change.

JMI has worked in partnership with the Anti-slavery Commissioner and his Office for over nine months to develop the plan, helping to bring a wide range of experts into the early phases of its development.

“Today marks a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery in NSW,” said Dr Vafa Ghazavi, Executive Director for Research and Policy at JMI.

“We were honoured to support the NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner to develop his first Strategic Plan on one of the most complex and pressing public policy issues facing Australia – and indeed the whole world,” Dr Ghazavi said.

The NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner, Dr James Cockayne, outlined the scale and impact of this public policy challenge in NSW in the Plan:

“There are an estimated 16,400 people in the state who are victims of modern slavery,” the Commissioner wrote.

“[The restrictions on freedom] leave lasting scars in people’s lives, and in the social and economic life of the NSW community. They create mental and physical health burdens, reduce people’s economic capacity, and lead to policing and criminal justice costs for the state.”

Between September and December 2022, JMI designed and facilitated four workshops that brought together more than 60 experts to explore the types of policies, programs and approaches that could shift the dial on modern slavery in NSW.

Workshop participants brought and contributed expertise from multiple disciplines and sectors: law, industrial relations, frontline service delivery, industries, business, procurement, investment, human rights, social policy, criminology and communications.

You can read the full Strategic Plan on the Anti-slavery Commissioner’s website.

The launch event was attended by 200 participants from across government, industry, civil society and academia.]

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