More than 45 million people are held in some form of slavery throughout the world. Modern slavery is a complex and often hidden crime that crosses borders, sectors and jurisdictions. It impacts on all of us, from the food we consume and the goods we purchase. And it is our responsibility to tackle this crime.
The Walk Free Foundation works to provide an integrated strategy to respond to this scourge against humanity. We believe that a strong multi-faceted approach through a combination of direct implementation, grassroots community engagement and working in partnership with faiths, businesses, academics, NGOs and governments around the world, is needed to end modern slavery. This includes building a robust knowledge base to inform action, driving legislative change in key countries and harnessing the power of businesses and faiths.
The Foundation was launched by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2012 and encompasses their vision to end modern slavery globally. Seed funded by the Forrests’ Minderoo Foundation, it provides the information and capabilities required for countries to defeat slavery in their jurisdictions.
The visit to Australia of Kevin Hyland the UK Independent Modern Slavery Commissioner in late May will be a powerful support to the case for Australia to introduce its own modern slavery legislation.
Supply chains that compete solely on price with little opportunity to differentiate from the competition or to compete on value-added propositions, are almost naturally drawn towards modern slavery and other unethical labour practices. This is particularly the case for industries where low skill labour is a key resource and in places where automation cannot economically compete with the abundant supply of such labour resources.
Alongside our work on the joint estimate to end modern slavery, the Walk Free Foundation research team are busy collecting data for the 2018 Global Slavery Index. More specifically, we are updating our assessment of government responses.