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Modern slavery is a term which covers exploitative practices including human trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced criminality, domestic servitude and child exploitation. The nature and extent of modern slavery means there is a high risk that it may be present in the operations and supply chains of Australian entities. Action against modern slavery is fundamental Catholic Social Teaching.
Every person, and all people, are equal and must be accorded the same freedom and the same dignity. Any discriminatory relationship that does not respect the fundamental conviction that others are equal is a crime, and frequently an aberrant crime. Pope Francis
The Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 established Australia’s national Modern Slavery Reporting Requirement. The reporting requirement aims to support the Australian business community to identify and address modern slavery risks and maintain responsible and transparent supply chains.
As a not-for-profit entity in Australia with annual consolidated revenue more than $100m, Townsville Catholic Education Office must comply with the reporting responsibilities outlined in the Act. The Act defines modern slavery as including eight types of serious exploitation:
- Trafficking in persons
- Forced marriage
- Forced labour
- Debt bondage
- Deceptive recruiting for labour or services, and
- The worst forms of child labour (situations where children are subjected to slavery or similar practices, or engaged in hazardous work.)
Examples of at-risk suppliers include construction, cleaning, clothing (textiles), food, information technology, and overseas travel to undertake charitable activities.
TCEO Action against Modern Slavery (Updated July 2023)
- Promotion of TCE Position Statement on Modern Slavery
- Preparation and regular review of TCE Risk Register for Modern Slavery
- Update of TCE Research Guidelines to reflect Modern Slavery provisions
- Standard/non-standard contract templates include Modern Slavery questioning and assurances
- TCE and school procurement processes include Modern Slavery questioning and assurances
- Training and update for TCE leadership staff