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Set them free

Ramp up your company’s response to modern slavery in 2022.

For the first time, many directors are faced with the unfamiliar task of reviewing and approving their organisation’s modern slavery statement. The Global Slavery Index 2018 (GSI 2018) has estimated that on any given day in 2016, there were 15,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in Australia.* This can be in the areas of, but not limited to, forced labour, forced marriage and forced sexual exploitation. The GSI 2018 also identifies certain products at risk of modern slavery to include electronics such as laptops, computers and mobile phones, apparel and clothing accessories, fish, rice and cocoa. A broad spectrum for a global problem.

The Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 applies to a wide range of entity types, including superannuation funds, not-for-profit entities, charities and government bodies — also allowing entities that are not legally required to report voluntarily.

Darren Cade, CEO of Arctic Intelligence, states, “Modern slavery can occur in every country, sector and industry. It is important for organisations to take responsibility, be aware of the implications to their business and address the vulnerabilities across their global supply chain.”

Directors should ensure that a broad range of organisational functions contribute to preparing the modern slavery statement. These may include finance, procurement, risk, sustainability, company
secretariat, human resources, legal and corporate affairs. Managing this process and obtaining complete
visibility at an entity and enterprise level, end to end, has been a challenge, until now.

By combining The Freedom Hub’s (TFH) industry expertise with Arctic Intelligence’s award-winning enterprise-wide risk assessment technology, TFH can help to fast-track compliance to the Australian Modern Slavery Act 2018 with the Risk Assessment and Measurement Platform (RAMP).

This means the overall solution provides boards, governance teams, in-house counsel, procurement teams, HR and department heads with accurate assessment and mitigation of modern slavery risks in supply chains. The technology also allows entities to conduct a comprehensive review of their human rights policies, processes and disclosures. This ensures the seven mandatory requirements set out by the Act are easily achieved.

Sally Irwin, Managing Director at The Freedom Hub, says, “TFH can provide guidance to improve measurement, remediation, policies and procedures regarding modern slavery risks. From training your board, staff and stakeholders, coupled with data-driven defendable risk assessments using Arctic Intelligence’s innovative software, ongoing modern slavery risk management has never been as effective or efficient.”

Company directors can help put an end to modern slavery by taking responsibility to ensure ongoing risk
management of global supply chains. Coupling industry experts with innovative technology enables
businesses to better understand the risks and demonstrate compliance.

Article first published March 2022 edition of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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