Supply Chain Sustainability School CEO, Hayley Jarick, has teamed up with dispute resolution expert Sarah M Blake to tackle a pressing issue facing many businesses; how do you remediate an issue like modern slavery?
Sarah and Hayley have authored a discussion paper on Remediation and are seeking feedback (see https://www.supplychainschool.org.au/remediation/)
“Many people are unaware that between my time at the Infrastructure Sustainability Council and the Supply Chain Sustainability School, I was the Australian General Manager of Resolution Institute. Resolution Institute is the largest dispute resolution membership organisation across Australia and New Zealand. They train, accredit, and manage directories of mediators, conciliators, expert determiners, adjudicators, arbitrators, restorative justice practitioners and other dispute resolution professionals,” Hayley said.
“During this time, I met Sarah Blake. Many dispute resolvers work in the field part-time, but Sarah has dedicated her professional career to helping others navigate their way through situations the best of us would run from! She is a multi-award-winning powerhouse who gives back to her profession by writing books, training other mediators and was a Director of Resolution Institute. So, when the issue arose in the sustainability sphere of how to remediate modern slavery instances, Sarah was my first call.”
Right now, or in the near future, your grievance mechanism could identify:
- modern slavery in your supply chain,
- systemic indigenous discrimination in your procurement processes,
- a supplier has drawn an unsustainable allocation from a waterway causing significant downstream environmental damage, or
- a supplier has caused permanent damage to the land of cultural first nations significance.
These are complex issues made more dynamic when we consider:
- stakeholders are networked with competing grievances and interests
- stakeholders may be from different jurisdictions, countries and cultures
- traditional legal avenues may be limited in resolving all the issues or providing desired outcomes
- the environment does not have a human voice to speak up for itself as a stakeholder
- competing interests and priorities
- high risk of conflict escalation.
These challenges often make negotiation, decision and agreement-making difficult. Most of us would dread finding ourselves implicated in any of these scenarios. It’s also likely that if we ever did, we would not have the skills or experience to navigate the path of best-practice remediation. Unfortunately, parties often end up in the judicial system or managing conflicts on multiple fronts. This negatively costs time, money and reputations and rarely results in what’s best for the victims or the most sustainable solutions. The good news is that there is an established way forward.
“Professional dispute resolvers are skilled at remediating complex issues,” Sarah said.
“Collaboration between professional dispute resolvers and issue subject matter experts is the best way to remediate complex social and environmental issues. Such an approach recognises that complex problems require multi-disciplinary perspectives to assist stakeholders to make wise and informed decisions. Remedies are broad and can include truth-telling, apologies, repatriation, access to health services, legal services, employment, education, financial compensation and preventative future measures.”
“Remediation processes necessarily look beyond a simple agreement and instead assist parties in exploring how to ‘make right’ a given situation. At present, there is great interest and need for this process in the remediation of modern slavery. However, we also recognise that remediation may be suitable to address other complex social, business and environmental issues.”
The Remediation Discussion Paper is designed to help businesses understand and consider what an effective process might look like and how they may be able to engage in such a model.
Feedback on the paper is open until 9 December 2022 via the Supply Chain Sustainability School’s website at https://www.supplychainschool.org.au/remediation/
Hayley Jarick (Sydney)
0407 921 801
Sarah Blake (Perth)
0419 841 184