Australia has an estimated 41,000 people experiencing modern slavery – nearly triple the estimates since 2018, according to figures published yesterday. Source: Australian Catholic Anti-slavery Network.
The Global Slavery Index 2023 (GSI) published yesterday indicates that the number of people estimated to be experiencing modern slavery worldwide has risen by 10 million since the last report in 2018.
The GSI is the most comprehensive measurement of modern slavery in the world. The 2023 edition has identified that conflict, climate change and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have compounded this crisis and an intersectional response is needed. This includes actions in Australia, where an estimated 41,000 people are estimated to be in modern slavery – nearly triple the estimates since 2018.
For Australian Catholic Anti-slavery Network (ACAN) entities complying with the Modern Slavery Act, the updated GSI is an important resource for identifying at-risk products and services in their supply chains and operations.
“The GSI helps ACAN entities determine where to focus risk assessment efforts and target specific categories of supply for risk management actions,” said ACAN program manager and sustainability specialist Carsten Primdal.
For example, the GSI identifies solar panels in the top five products at-risk of forced labour.
“This is a concern for ACAN entities planning or that have already invested in renewables. There are serious implications for procurement in terms of supplier risk, due diligence and demonstrating that Catholic funds are not contributing to people being enslaved, abused or exploited,” Mr Primdal said.
ACAN Program Manager Alison Rahill said Catholic entities can fulfil their responsibility to address modern slavery individually and collectively through the ACAN Modern Slavery Risk Management Program.
“The ACAN program provides participating entities with access to a team of specialist experts and over 70 tools and resources developed to date,” Ms Rahill said.
41,000 People in Modern Slavery in Australia (Australian Catholic Anti-slavery Network)