Fortescue Metals Group (Fortescue) has joined a group of 10 mining, energy and resource companies from Western Australia to develop a practical toolkit to pre-screen for modern slavery risks within their supply chains.
Recognising that suppliers are facing growing information requests due to modern slavery legislation, the toolkit provides a self-assessment questionnaire that asks suppliers to identify modern slavery risks and the work they are undertaking to address these risks. These common set of questions will streamline reporting and provide consistency and clarity.
Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said Fortescue opposes all forms of slavery and forced labour across its operations and the operations of its suppliers.
“As an industry, we have a significant role to play in addressing the risk of modern slavery in our supply chains and believe a coordinated approach between government, businesses, civil society and the community is crucial to eradicating modern slavery,” Ms Gaines said.
“Modern slavery has been a key focus for Fortescue for a number of years and significantly it was the strong advocacy from business, most notably from our Chairman and Founder Andrew Forrest AO, that led to the introduction of Australia’s Modern Slavery Act.”
Walk Free Chief Executive Officer and Fortescue Non-Executive Director Jenn Morris said, “We commend the design of this open source document that supports the mandatory reporting requirements of the Australian Modern Slavery Act.
“This approach reduces the administration of monitoring yet increases the efficiency and effectiveness of driving better outcomes in identifying the risks of modern slavery.”
By working together, the industry group aims to help end modern slavery and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 to “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”.
Walk Free estimates that modern slavery affects over 40 million people globally.
The toolkit includes a supplier self-assessment questionnaire, frequently asked questions and the Walk Free Foundation Guidance – ‘Understanding Modern Slavery’. It is available in four languages and can be downloaded from http://www.baliprocessbusiness.org
The participating companies in the pilot program are: