Any behaviour or activity that leads to the exploitation of other people’s freedom for personal or commercial gains is known as modern slavery. Modern slavery continues to exist in present-day society, driven by exploiters who seek to generate personal and financial gain. Governments across the globe are taking measures to counter this abuse and encourage businesses to provide modern slavery training in their workplaces.

The spread of modern slavery

Modern slavery generally starts with people from weaker sections of displaced or marginalised communities falling prey to manipulators who use coercion, threat, or deception to exploit their freedom. People coming from war-torn countries, regions suffering from natural calamities, or poor economies can be employed on false pretences and forced to perform unethical work or physically and psychologically strenuous work.

It is not limited to a particular age group and often involves child labour. Many industries that use direct labour are more prone to modern slavery than others. It is widely present in the global economy, and the highest number of enslavements is found in the Asia-Pacific region.

If not stopped in time, modern slavery can persistently exploit more human lives. All businesses in Australia must monitor their operations and supply chains to ensure no human is being exploited.

A workplace culture that promotes human rights

Every human life matters and every human has the right to freedom and to be treated fairly and respectfully. Only businesses operating with such ethos intertwined with their goals can promote a culture that values human rights. Doing so also increases the reputation of their brand, along with eliminating modern slavery.

To bring about a desired change and stop modern slavery, businesses must work towards providing a better workplace to all their employees and be vigilant towards any malpractices. Listed below are a few changes you can adopt that can lead to a better workplace culture.

1. Implement Workplace Policies

Workplace policies are instruments that guide employees and management about what standards of behaviour or performance are to be expected and fulfilled at their workplace. Creating and implementing workplace policies is one of the best ways to ensure employees are aware of the behaviour that is expected of them. Policies such as anti-bullying, sexual harassment, modern slavery awareness, etc., are important to clarify the organisation’s approach towards these issues.

2. Train Your Workforce

Once you have designed and implemented robust policies and procedures regarding modern slavery incidents in your workplace, the next step is to educate your employees. Modern slavery training can help your employees understand the behaviours and actions that are defined as modern slavery and where and how to report them when faced with such an incident. You may extend modern slavery training to suppliers and stakeholders to prevent it from your supply chain as well.

3. State Stringent Penalties

Adopting a zero-tolerance approach towards all those found involved in or guilty of modern slavery in your operations or supply chain can also help prevent it. The designed policies must clearly state the penalties or actions expected when an employee, volunteer, or supplier is encouraging modern slavery. These penalties must be finalised and stated after consultation with your legal team and regulatory organisations. Also, taking strict actions when required will set clear examples for business partners or suppliers in the future.

4. Comply With Regulations

Every business, regardless of its industry, is expected to follow laws and regulations aimed at preventing modern slavery. Being an organisation dedicated to promoting human rights requires complying with these laws at all costs. Non-compliance to these guidelines will not only cause financial and reputational damages but also open your organisation’s workplace as unsafe for both current and future employees.

The takeaway:

Preventing modern slavery in and around your organisation can be a long and arduous journey. Choosing and implementing the right modern slavery awareness training solution can help make it easier. Spreading awareness and letting employees know how to report and resolve exploitation in the workplace can be one of the best steps ahead.

If you are looking for a way to educate your workforce and make your workplace a safer place, contact Sentrient for a free demo today.