Target, Cotton On, Jeanswest, Dangerfield, IKEA and H&M are among the brands in Australia sourcing cotton from Xinjiang.
The prospect of China using forced labour to supply foreign companies highlights the importance of modern slavery laws.
Rather than requiring companies to ensure a living wage for their global supply chain workforce, the Modern Slavery Act ends up punishing them.
Many instances of slavery or exploitation start with the promise of a reasonably paying job in Australia.
Wes Mountain/The Conversation
While some may not believe slavery and human trafficking happen in Australia, the unpalatable truth is that they do. Here are four examples of what they can look like.
The victim-offender overlap is disturbingly common in the human trafficking trade, with women once trafficked becoming traffickers.
Many trafficked victims are female. But what happens when the perpetrator is also female, and was once a victim herself?
Consumers should ask: “who made my clothes” so that they remember the modern slavery conditions imposed on many garment workers.
Fashion Revolution week puts a spotlight on the modern slavery conditions of the fashion industry and encourages fashion consumers to ask, "who made my clothes."
Global capitalist pressures on labour markets and the search for cheaper workers can lead to slavery.
Consumers are only benefitting from cheap clothes at considerable cost to the environment and by exploitation of a poor, vulnerable garment workers.
Tracking the journey of tuna from the seas around Thailand to Australian supermarket shelves shows modern slavery is a pervasive problem.
Just one brand of tinned tuna in Australian supermarkets is able to confidently claim slavery was not involved in its supply.
Modern slaves are not kept in literal chains, but this does not justify being oblivious to it. Consumers should care about how a product is made.
Hidden slavery is a growing global problem but we continue to turn a blind eye and embrace a seemingly insatiable demand for fast, cheap goods and services.
Soon we’ll have a much better idea of what we are buying, and companies will be shamed into sourcing products better.
Soon we'll have a better idea of what we are buying. There are no penalties, but "naming and shaming" might make Australia's Modern Slavery Act work.
Adam Cohn / flickr
When it comes to tackling unacceptable forms of work, lessons can be learned from the global South.
Thomas Cristofoletti, Ruom | Copyright Royal Holloway University of London
The long shadows of Cambodia’s edifices of wealth and progress conceal a deeper darkness.
Globalised fishing can leave workers vulnerable to exploitation.
A lack of sustainability, profitability and transparency in the global fishing industry is exacerbating the problem of slave-like working conditions for crew. Here are the warning signs to look out for.
Most hand car wash workers are subject to some form of labour exploitation, says new report
Nail bars are havens for modern slavery.
Slavery still exists and it happens in plain sight.
Many cocoa producers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast use child labour and child slave labour.
The Modern Slavery Bill before the Senate is touted as 'smart legislation', because it asks for information rather than imposes penalties, but it mightn't be enough.
Portside tuna unloading from a refrigerated cargo and trading vessel (reefer) in Thailand, 2013.
The seafood industry is a major contributor to modern slavery.
There are other ways of exploiting victims in the 'business model' of modern slavery.
The UK government presents itself as a pioneer in tackling modern slavery, but it doesn't allow victims to remain legally in the UK. Time is apt for the system to be overhauled.
The new NHS charging regime will have a severe impact on the most vulnerable people in society.