The Australian Human Rights Commission and KPMG Australia are today launching Resources, energy and modern slavery: Practical responses for managing risk to people, a guide to help the sector respond effectively to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).

The Act requires large companies with a consolidated annual revenue of $100m or more to report annually on their strategies to address risks of modern slavery in their global operations and supply chains. 

Modern slavery refers to a range of serious human rights violations, which are also crimes in Australia. 

They include: 

  • human trafficking
  • slavery, servitude and forced marriage
  • forced labour, debt bondage and child labour 
  • deceptive recruiting for labour or services.

According to the Global Slavery Index:

  • more than 40 million people around the world are living in modern slavery conditions
  • up to 15,000 victims are living in Australia.

The guide is relevant to the resources and energy sector entities that are required to report under the Modern Slavery Act, and their suppliers. 

“The need to decarbonise means that the global energy mix is rapidly shifting. This shift is creating increasing crossover between the resources and energy sectors in both their operations and supply chains.,” said Richard Boele, Partner in Charge of KPMG Banarra Human Rights and Social Impact, KPMG Australia, and Global Leader of KPMG’s international Business and Human Rights Network.

“It’s in this context that companies must challenge their thinking on where they’ll find risk to people. Transition is creating new and emerging human rights and social risks that we have to identify and understand.”

Commission President Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM said: “Taking a rights-based approach to addressing modern slavery will assist energy and resources companies to meet the increasing expectations of investors, governments, clients, consumers, business peers and civil society around business respect for human rights.

The guide was part of a collaboration between the Commission and KPMG which aims to support business to respond meaningfully to the modern slavery risks across a range of sectors, Mr Boele said.

“Effective management of modern slavery risks involves placing ‘risk to people’ at the heart of your response”, he said.

The guide showcases examples of current practice from the sector and provides good practice tips on how to manage key risk areas. 

For further information

Whitney Fitzsimmons
0448 285 646            

Marjorie Johnston
0407 329 430