INTHEBLACK July 2020 - Page 48



F E AT U R E
// M O D E R N S L AV E RY
FAIR
SUPPLY
CHAINS
H O W FA I R I S Y O U R S U P P LY C H A I N ? M A N Y O R G A N I S AT I O N S
M AY N O T B E AWA R E O F T H E R I S K O F M O D E R N S L AV E RY I N
T H E I R S U P P LY C H A I N S .
STORY MEGAN BREEN
AT A G L A N C E

W
hen COVID-19 started its march across the world earlier
this year, few could have predicted the catastrophic social
and economic fallout that would follow.
Within weeks, businesses started to close, factories were
shut down and global supply chains were disrupted. The ripple effect
continues, including placing more people around the world at risk of
exploitation – a form of modern slavery – as people find themselves in
increasingly desperate circumstances.
For the Australian economy, the effects of the pandemic have been
devastating and, despite the multi-billion dollar JobKeeper stimulus
package, the unemployment rate is set to double to 10 per cent, its highest
rate in almost three decades.
For less-developed countries, already living with high unemployment
and lower-paid jobs, the scenario is even worse, and there is a real fear
that modern slavery will reach new levels as more vulnerable people find
themselves desperate for work.
DEFINING MODERN SLAVERY
Despite slavery being abolished by most countries more than 150 years
ago, its modern equivalents can still be found in supply chains across many
industries. The term “modern slavery” is wide-ranging and covers human
trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage,
deceptive recruiting for labour services, and child labour.
52 ITB July 2020
According to the Global
Slavery Index, G20
countries import an
estimated A$547 billion
in goods produced by
forced labour each year.

Australia is working hard
to eradicate modern
slavery. Since January
2019, organisations
operating in Australia
with consolidated revenue
of more than A$100 million
must report annually on
the risks of modern
slavery in their operations.

CPA Australia and the
University of South
Australia have developed
the Modern Slavery
Compass, a tool to help
businesses meet reporting
obligations under the
Modern Slavery Act.
intheblack.com July 2020 53

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