With much anticipation, we await the imminent introduction of Australia’s first Modern Slavery Bill to the Federal Parliament and welcomed similar legislation introduced to the NSW Parliament. These proposed new laws will require large companies and organisations to report on the action they are taking to identify and address slavery in their supply chains.
As more Australians become aware of the prevalence of slavery, including in the manufacture of many of the products we regularly buy, there is a growing expectation well-recognised brands will show leadership in tackling this issue. As Hagar Australia CEO, Jo Pride, said in her recent speech at the Elevate Leadership Series in Sydney, there are a range of brand-building, consumer, investment and risk management reasons for companies to increasingly focus on this issue. Ultimately, however, the reason we must tackle slavery in the supply chains of Australian products is that no profit margin can ever justify the deep, individual human devastation that slavery inflicts.
Through our work on the frontline, Hagar sees this deep individual trauma every day. Yet, we also have the awesome privilege of supporting survivors as they courageously rebuild their lives.