By Dana Throssell
Momentum is growing in Perth as a growing number of businesses are proactively seeking opportunities to work together to address risks of modern slavery.
On 7 December, the Walk Free Foundation hosted a networking session in Perth with the aim of encouraging some of WA’s biggest companies, law and accounting firms and service providers to collaborate efforts to address risks of modern slavery.
This event provided the opportunity for businesses to learn more about what modern slavery is, hear about what businesses are already doing, and discuss how to work collaboratively as a network.
The event also came at an opportune time, with the Parliamentary Committee’s Report on Modern Slavery, ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, being tabled in Parliament that day, highlighting the growing focus on this important topic, and how imperative action really is. Businesses realise the legislation is coming, now is the perfect time to be ahead of the wave.
As part of the event, the Walk Free Foundation asked guests to provide responses on what their businesses are already doing to address the risks of modern slavery, which internal stakeholder drives these actions and initial ideas on collaboration. Survey results showed:
- The most common actions taken by businesses are supply chain mapping, risk assessment and updated anti-slavery policies, clauses and audits.
- Initiatives were mostly led by the procurement teams, but with the CEO being the most engaged senior member.
- The most popular suggestions for future collaboration included working groups to discuss shared experiences, further networking events and collaboration with governments.
What is clear, is that modern slavery is not an issue that any one business or individual or government can tackle alone, it requires collective action.