Australia Catholic Church agencies have come together to battle modern slavery in their supply chains.
Today over 40 million people are in slavery-like conditions and our procurement and trading are intertwined with these deeply unethical practices.
The Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network, facilitated by the Archdiocese of Sydney Anti-Slavery Taskforce, has worked with Catholic organisations from across the country to create a Compendium of Modern Slavery Statements. These statements assess where Catholic organisations are at risk of supporting modern slavery through their supply chains.
Over 45 Catholic agencies have supplied statements. These have been collated and are brought together as one to comply with the Modern Slavery Act (2018) that all organisations need to report on their supply chains each year.
ACAN’s aim is to “eradicate modern slavery in all its forms from the operations and supply chains of Catholic entities in Australia.” Australia and 190 other organisations pledged to end modern slavery by 2030 by adopting the 8.7 Sustainable Development Goal.
The report found that approximately 3 billion dollars of the total reported procurement budget of Catholic agencies are in high-risk areas to modern slavery – Medical consumables, building and construction, ICT hardware, facilities management. Other potentially high-risk categories include cleaning and security services, uniforms, labour hire and food and beverage supplies.
The next steps are to implement their ACAN Modern Slavery Risk Management Program for 2021-2023 with the following priorities:
- Access to platform to manage ongoing supplier risk due diligence
- Monitoring and reporting, producing meaningful metrics
- Tracking progress and accountability for actions
- Knowing that our efforts are producing the right outcomes
- Remediation support and advice.