With approximately 40 million people working in conditions considered modern slavery all over the world, it’s not uncommon behaviour in economies today. The exploitation of human freedom and fundamental rights is more prevalent in industries that directly include manual labour.
If you deploy an effective program to help your employees identify such incidents in your workplace or supply chain, you might encounter cases of modern slavery. But do you think your workforce is armed to manage such incidents?
We have listed some action plans to help you tackle, prevent and eliminate modern slavery instances.
5 Robust Ways to Tackle Modern Slavery
No organisation can effectively eliminate modern slavery from their workplace alone. It can only be stopped when companies collaborate with partners and stakeholders. Attempts to eradicate modern slavery by an organisation without any such collaboration with partnerships and stakeholders can put an end to knowledge and information sharing. Combining resources and sharing expertise are the most important benefits of joined forces in the fight against modern slavery.
2. Be vigilant
You must be vigilant in identifying instances of modern slavery. The first step towards doing so is to gain transparency over your supply chains and operations. Deep observation of their operations at regular intervals can lead organisations to inevitably detect instances of misconduct or exploitation defined as modern slavery as per Australian laws. Organisations can then take appropriate action to solve these instances.
3. Engage with suppliers
It can be challenging to find these instances of modern slavery in your supply chain but adopting a victim-centred approach can be one of the best ways to long-term eradication of modern slavery. This approach enables organisations to look beyond their own goals, interests, and risk mitigation to engage with suppliers when modern slavery has been found. Extending modern slavery and human rights awareness training to suppliers can help reduce the risks of modern slavery.
This also results in building long-term relationships with suppliers to create trust. Such plans and approaches can lead to companies engaging in a rapid and more effective response against modern slavery in the future.
4. Take responsibility
Businesses must take responsibility for what is happening in their operations and supply chain and put victims first. The benefits of putting victims first are apparent. It translates to companies acting to assist victims in ways that empower them against similar situations in the future. Efforts to do this does not require all businesses to be experts at dealing with modern slavery, but they should be able to address the concerns and refer to the relevant authorities.
5. Foster prevention
As is well known, prevention is better than cure. In the case of modern slavery, adopting a preventative stance helps to avoid any exploitation inside your organisation or supply chain. Organisations must pay attention to the areas that deal with workers. Promoting legal and ethical recruitment channels for migrant workers is one step towards ensuring people travelling for better work opportunities do not end up in debt bondage or similar situations.
Get everyone on board to fight against modern slavery.
As companies need to collaborate with partners, stakeholders, and suppliers, it is also important to get all levels of the organisation equally invested in addressing modern slavery issues. Management needs to provide a sufficient budget to support anti-modern slavery activities and tackle any instances. Taking all employees together on this journey will also help reach more stakeholders and create more value.
Dealing with and preventing modern slavery in your workplace and supply chain can be a demanding task. But it is not impossible and can be streamlined using the right tools. Sentrient’s online workplace compliance courses can help guide your employees on how to stay compliant with modern slavery laws and the actions to be taken when confronted with such incidents.