Just in time for Human Rights Day, the Australian Government launched its 5 year plan to combat modern slavery.
“The National Action Plan articulates the Government’s vision for a future where no one is subjected to #modernslavery. It builds on our efforts to combat modern slavery to date, including the landmark Modern Slavery Act 2018. The Commonwealth Statement fulfils our commitment under the Act by outlining the actions the Government is taking to address modern slavery risks in its procurement activities and investments. These ABF led initiatives were developed in close consultation with civil society, business, unions and academia, and reaffirm the Government’s strong position that #modernslavery has no place in our supply chains or communities. The National Action Plan sets the strategic direction of our work to combat modern slavery in Australia over the next five years. Modern slavery is a devastating crime that exploits the most vulnerable in our communities. It is a crime that sees women, men and children deprived of their freedom and robbed of their rights. Modern slavery also taints the global supply chains of the goods and services we purchase everyday.” Australian Border Force
The Freedom Hub has been privileged to be involved in reviewing this document the week before its launch. And, even better… we are very excited to be a part of the Measurement and Evaluation Framework Advisory Group for the next 5 years.
This has been a passionate and long term dream of ours. To see our country ending modern slavery and helping victim/survivors recover. Things are looking up for human rights.
National Action Plan Mission
Here is the plans mission…
“We work to actively prevent and combat all forms of modern slavery, wherever it occurs, including by supporting, protecting and empowering victims and survivors.”
The Freedom Hub is very pleased to see an emphasis on victim/survivor support. Also for the first time, there will be research. In the plan you can learn more about modern slavery in Australia and some interesting statistics. These stats have come out of Australia’s ‘Support for Trafficked People Program’.
A statistic that stands out to us in this report is that the majority of victims they have dealt with are Australian.
To read the full NAP click here.
Modern Slavery Statements
The other bit of exciting news in this space is that Modern Slavery Statements are rolling in. Large corporations are submitting statements and working to clean up their supply chain. So large retailers like Woolworths and Coles have identified slavery in a number of areas. As a result they are taking action to eliminate it.
“Woolworths has identified 332 Australian fruit and vegetable suppliers within its supply chain where workers are at risk of slave-like conditions, as part of its first-ever review under new modern slavery laws. And Coles has conceded farms that harvest produce then send it to a pack-house are not covered by its ethical sourcing program.” ABC News
The great news is that there have been many ‘voluntary statements’ submitted. The new public register for modern slavery statements accepts both mandatory and voluntary statements. So the voluntary statements are smaller businesses who want to be first movers in the new ethical world of conscious consumers. As a result they will be well positioned to pick up new contracts. Because as large companies begin to clean up their supply chain they will look on this register to find those who have done their due diligence.
To view the Modern Slavery Registry click here.
If you would like to engage The Freedom Hub Ethical Business Services to help you organisation submit a statement, contact us here.
or you can find out more here.