Australian states and other nations have been urged to follow NSW's plan to strike at the heart of modern slavery, affecting 41,000 Australians.
Kenyan activist and advocate for survivors of human trafficking Sophie Otiende is to help launch a new three-year strategy for Australia's only state-based anti-slavery commissioner, James Cockayne, in Sydney on Thursday.
The roadmap aims to vastly reduce the estimated 16,400 people in modern slavery in NSW, among 41,000 nationally.
Affected industries include agriculture, beauty and cleaning.
It comes as federal human rights commissioner Lorraine Finlay calls for tougher federal penalties for companies using exploited labour in their supply chains.
The NSW roadmap aims to stop taxpayer dollars from being spent on products of modern slavery and centres modern slavery survivors in new anti-slavery efforts.
Ms Otiende, a survivor of domestic servitude herself, said critically the NSW plan looked both locally and globally.
"What NSW is doing is commendable," the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery chief executive told AAP.
"It's the first jurisdiction, basically, in the world that will truly require all government departments and local councils to take steps towards removing products of modern slavery from procurement."
She is under no illusion that it will solve everything, acknowledging slavery's long history in many forms.
But NSW was taking the right steps and she hoped Australia could take the global lead.
"Most of us don't want people to be abused, right? And most of us would take steps towards stopping abuse if we knew how to do it," she said.
"This is something that I want other jurisdictions - not just in Australia, but all over the world - to adopt, because we are not going to address this issue alone."
NSW in 2018 became the first state or territory in Australia to introduce standalone legislation to address modern slavery. It remains the only state with an anti-slavery commissioner.
Dr Cockayne stressed modern slavery was an issue here, not just overseas.
There have been numerous direct reports to his office since August of people in the agricultural workforce in regional NSW, cleaners in urban centres such as Sydney and Newcastle and nail salons in rural centres like Tamworth.
People were no longer enslaved through shackles, rather "it's through a prison of the mind."
"It makes it very difficult for people to come forward with that fear of retaliation against themselves, their friends or often their family members who are overseas," Dr Cockayne told AAP.
Under the three-year plan, healthcare workers will be equipped to intervene when they encounter potential modern slavery victims.
International research suggested four in every five victims of human trafficking have contact with healthcare workers while they're being exploited, he said.
"That's a huge opportunity we have to identify these people and provide them with the support and assistance they need," he said.
A support and referral hotline will also be established for those in modern slavery.
In the meantime, Dr Cockayne urges Australians who are in or notice suspected modern slavery to contact his office (nswantislavery.org.au) or the federal police (131 237)
Australian Associated Press
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