Modern Slavery Act compliance in Australia has been at the forefront of the minds of organisations in Australia since 2018, many companies are on a journey of understanding, engagement, and due diligence; however, much work is still left to be done with a startling 61% of all indicative reporting entities still falling short of compliance with the Act, let alone those that have taken meaningful action against the risk of Modern Slavery within their supply chains with published statements.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR AUSTRALIA'S FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL MODERN SLAVERY ISSUES?
- 40 million (and growing) victims of modern slavery still have no voice globally, with at least 4,300 of those living in Australia, and there is still a less than overwhelming response to their plight.
- 61% of applicable organisations in Australia with the requirement to develop strategies, actions and identify and remediate instances of modern slavery within their supply chain are non-compliant to the Act and seemingly do not know how to get started or, worse, do not feel the issue is important enough to take action.
- We have a long way to go to engage Australian organisations and take meaningful action.
As stakeholders, investors, employees, and Australian consumers increase pressure on organisations to act against modern slavery and businesses seek to be both good corporate citizens and protect their organisations' brand and reputation; it may just be a question of where to start, not that the issue is not critical or that we do not care for the most vulnerable people within our supply chains (that provide the food we eat and the clothes we wear at their cost), it's often this one question, WHERE TO START?
A fascinating, insightful and poignant read for those of you asking yourself the same question.
Download a copy of our Road to an Effective Human Rights Due Diligence Program in the Supply Chain whitepaper today. Let's work together to increase action and help the world's vulnerable people living in instances of Modern Slavery.
UniSA researcher Dr Katherine Christ says while some companies are progressing well in this space, others are lagging. “Modern slavery affects and implicates every country and every industry in the world, with corporate supply chains often entangled in this unethical and illegal practice,” Dr Christ says.