The internationalisation of supply chains has been an inevitable and advantageous change for many businesses. It’s helped reduce costs, increased the availability of a variety of products, helped attract international customers, plus so much more. However, despite all these positive aspects, we must be aware that modern slavery could now be introduced through our organisation and supply chain.
Modern slavery is a growing issue for businesses all over the globe. The exploitation of fundamental human rights and human lives for personal and monetary gains still prevails. Businesses are taking steps to curb this, but it requires more effort now than ever. Industries are witnessing massive upheavals in their supply chains in the post-pandemic world.
Human lives have been frightfully affected during the pandemic and more people are now prone to the root causes of modern slavery, some of which are poverty, migration, marginalisation of communities, unawareness, etc. This is the time businesses in Australia should enhance their efforts to stop modern slavery – training of staff being one of those efforts.
Let’s take a look at what modern slavery training is and how businesses and other entities in Australia must implement it.
What is modern slavery training?
Modern slavery training is a learning program used to educate learners about the identification, extent, and reporting of modern slavery. It helps all those unaware of human exploitation such as child labour, forced marriage, debt bondage, servitude, etc. come forward and fight against this misbehaviour and malpractice.
This training can be targeted for various learners including employees, volunteers, contractors, and even stakeholders. The more the awareness, the better the possibility of identification and reporting of these incidents. Modern slavery training also helps businesses ensure a safe and respectful place for their employees, where nobody is made to work beyond what is acceptable.
Why is modern slavery training required in Australian businesses?
According to Anti-Slavery Australia, approximately 40.3 million people are involved in modern slavery globally. The highest number of cases can be seen in the Asia-Pacific region. Some of the reasons why Australian businesses must also start implementing modern slavery training are as follows:
Escalating risks in Australia
Out of a large number of enslaved people globally, approximately 1,900 people are victims of modern slavery in Australia. And this number only keeps rising every day. Only 1 in 5 victims are detected while there is little or no action to stop the spread. Training can help identify the behaviours and practices that are defined as modern slavery.
Gaps in reporting
According to the statistics by Anti-Slavery Australia, a small number of cases get reported and even fewer offenders get punished. Throughout 2016-2017 only 25% of cases of labour exploitation were referred to the police. Also, between the period of 2004-2021, a total of 1670 cases of modern slavery were referred to the Australian Federal Police out of which only 31 offenders were convicted. This shows the gaps in reporting which can be reduced with modern slavery training where participants are taught how and where to report incidents of modern slavery.
Lack of awareness
Australia hosts a vibrant community with people coming from all over the world. This puts businesses in Australia in a powerful position regarding hiring global talent. But, with more power comes more responsibility. Many migrants and other employees are not aware of their rights and hence businesses must ensure they are not being misled into modern slavery in their operations or supply chains. Only a few businesses invest in implementing employee awareness training. This must be changed.
Advantages of modern slavery training
Some of the biggest advantages of modern slavery training are as follows:
- Enhanced awareness
- Increased participation to prevent
- Safer workplaces
- Better brand reputation
- Prevention of non-compliance
After the pandemic, some people cannot support their mere existence. These are times when modern slavery can thrive if not checked.
Sentrient’s online modern slavery and human rights awareness training courses can help businesses educate their employees about this social evil. If you are a business or entity functioning in Australia and want to contribute to the efforts of preventing modern slavery, contact Sentrient today.