Measuring Modern Slavery Risks

The Unchaining Modern Slavery Webinar on February 17 featured Heather Moore, from the Salvation Army Australia. She shared about her work for the intervention of modern slavery and spoke from her experience in social work as well as policy and advocacy work. 

Heather continues to conduct research on how to support businesses who are fighting modern slavery and ways to measure their impact with an emphasis on outcomes rather than process, and context rather than contracts. Heather also shares her passion for creating national, consistent ease in getting on board with the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth). 

The three takeaways from this insightful session:

1.  Modern Slavery isn’t always a scrutinised policy: Heather challenges us to push our thinking toward a more critical level of structural change and to have a long-term goal of what an organisation is wanting to achieve. She explains that in her experience of social change, modern slavery can often be client-based, but she sees value in looking at the system for a bigger picture. Most people can tend to think that anything used to fight modern slavery is good. However, she highlights the importance of questioning a company’s actions, policies and programs, beyond what they may show to consumers.  

2.  What did you achieve: Many organisations that are willing to comply with the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) can often miss a lot of information in their own research. They may feel satisfied in ticking boxes to complete a minimum standard for eradicating modern slavery. Heather challenges businesses to assess their own actions toward modern slavery by asking themselves if they are achieving as much as they could. This assessment will also end up saving time by stopping the actions which are not working. Further, there is more success in unity, so when companies are guided in their Modern Slavery actions and work together, non-competitively, they can measure a greater result. 

3.  Actions over Statistics: Due to the anecdotal nature of the evidence, combined with the apparent discrepancies in the data, Australian organisations could assume that the risk of modern slavery is low and therefore does not require too much attention. However, even one case of modern slavery should be a call to action. Rather than focusing on the data, the investment in time and resources is better spent implementing the Modern Slavery Act and developing strategies for effective due diligence. 

Heather’s message is timely, as she encouraged all Australians and corporations to think and plan long-term and invest in seeking outcomes that benefit those impacted by modern slavery. 

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