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Modern Slavery

What is Modern Slavery?

The word ‘slavery’ is often associated with human rights infringements imposed centuries ago by wealthy and privileged landowners across the globe. By this reasoning, the term would be considered redundant in today’s more enlightened society.
Unfortunately, the reality is quite different; the 2018 Global Slavery Index estimated that there are over 40 million victims of modern slavery practices worldwide today and, due to the nature of the data, this figure may be on the low side.  Slavery today – or ‘modern slavery’ – can take many different forms and refers to instances of human exploitation where the victim cannot refuse or leave.
Around 15,000 people are living in conditions of modern slavery in Australia, and many Australian supply chains lead directly to the Asia Pacific region. In the Asia Pacific region estimates place over 30 million people in human trafficking, forced labour or debt bondage situations.

Modern Slavery Legislation in Australia

In early 2017 the Australian Government started an inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia, and since then there has been a steadily increasing focus on this crucial topic.
The ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ report, released in December 2017, sets out the case for a Modern Slavery Act for Australia providing details around definitions, transparency, responses and support, with legislation due to be introduced mid-2018.
The NSW Modern Slavery Bill passed in June 2018 is intended to cover public and private sector organisations with a turnover of more than $50 million operating with staff in NSW. 
The Australian Government introduced a Modern Slavery Bill which passed both Houses in November 2018 and is now working on the supporting regulations and guidance documents.
The aim of the resources below gathered from both UK and Australian sources is to help organisations understand the need for greater collaboration to address any instances of modern slavery that may exist in the construction and infrastructure supply chains.
We hope you find these resources useful but should you have any queries, suggestions, or need additional information; please contact [email protected]
Modern slavery

The Modern Slavery Act in Practice – strategies & processes for action. This half-day workshop from 29 Aug 2019 in collaboration with GHD and ISCA showcased how leaders in the sector were preparing for the requirements of the Act and implementing change throughout their supply chain for greater transparency as well as raising awareness of human rights and modern slavery issues. Through case studies, a panel discussion and peer-to-peer learning participants dived into the strategies, processes and actions required to shift practices to a new level, towards the eradication of modern slavery up and down our supply chains. The event aimed to provide a greater understanding of the new modern slavery legislation, what it means for Australian Government, business and industry.

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