A number of investment groups have joined forces to produce a best-practice guide for reporting and eliminating modern slavery.
The guide was developed by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) and builds on guidance contained within the Australian government’s new Modern Slavery Act.
“Modern slavery is likely to exist in the operations or supply chains of most businesses,” said ACSI CEO Louise Davidson.
“Beyond the devastating human impact, poor management of human rights impacts upon the commercial success, stability and longevity of investments.”
The guide sets out a number of recommendations to help businesses comply with the act, including the actions that need to be undertaken to remove the potential of modern slavery in supply chain entities.
The guide recommends businesses maintain a mechanism for reporting modern slavery risks – such as an employee hotline – and ensuring that entities in their supply chain are not using practices that can lead to modern slavery, such as charging recruitment fees for workers or tying worker accommodation to their employment status.
The guide also recommends prioritising risks with the greatest impact or scale or where a delay in response would mean that remediation is not possible.
“We encourage superannuation funds, fund managers and others to use this guide to strengthen their own reporting under the new law,” said RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor.
“In doing so, investors will be in a stronger position to guide companies around better disclosures and human rights risk management.”
The report working group contained a number of institutions, including KPMG, NAB, and Mercer Investments.
The Modern Slavery Act requires businesses based in Australia with an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million to report annually on modern slavery, with reports made public via online database.
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