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Combatting modern slavery in the resources and energy sectors

Business and Human Rights

A new guide to help the resources and energy sectors manage their modern slavery risks is now available: Resources, energy and modern slavery: Practical responses to managing risks to people.

The guide, developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission in collaboration with KPMG Australia, is the fourth and final pack in a suite of sector-specific guides which aim to help Australian businesses understand and manage their modern slavery risks and respond effectively to the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).  

Relationships between the traditionally distinct sectors of mining, oil and gas, and power generators and retailers are rapidly shifting with the global move towards decarbonisation and sustainability. This has added complexity to the supply chains of companies in these sectors, creating new modern slavery risks that must be considered and addressed under the Act. This guide showcases examples of current good practice in the sector and provides tips on how to manage key risk areas.  

The Modern Slavery Act requires certain large companies to report annually on their efforts to address risks of modern slavery in their global operations and supply chains. The Act was introduced in the context of an increase in stakeholder expectations globally around the human rights performance of businesses.  

According to the Global Slavery Index, more than 40 million people around the world are living in modern slavery conditions, and up to 15,000 victims are living in Australia. Modern slavery refers to a range of serious human rights violations, which are also crimes in Australia. They include trafficking in persons, slavery, servitude, forced marriage, forced labour, debt bondage, the worst forms of child labour, and deceptive recruiting for labour or services.  

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

You can read the KPMG Australia and Australian Human Rights Commission’s guide for the resources and energy sectors here. You can also read the other guides in the series, which focus on the property and construction, financial services and health services sectors here