Modern slavery now entraps an estimated 40 million people around the world, 10 million of them children. Never before have so many been exploited through forced labor, child labor or human trafficking. In the United States, at least 400,000 people are enslaved, according to the latest figures from the Global Slavery Index, and in Australia the figure is 15,000.
The Eradicating Modern Slavery from Catholic Supply Chains Conference, held in Sydney in July, sought to prepare and equip large Catholic entities to eradicate modern slavery and to meet the requirements of new national legislation. The conference brought together representatives from 40 Catholic dioceses and organizations in the health, elder care, education and welfare sectors from across the nation.
This conference provided an opportunity to review the results of a modern slavery risk analysis conducted on suppliers representing more than $2 billion of spending (in Australian dollars) by 23 Catholic entities. The analysis covered five key areas: customers and stakeholders; human resources and recruitment; procurement and supply chain; risk management; and management systems.