Investors launch best-practice guide on combatting modern slavery

Investors have collaborated to produce a best-practice guide to reporting under Australia’s Modern Slavery Act.

Developed by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) and Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the best-practice guide builds on the Australian Government’s guidance.

The new Act has requirements for organisations in reporting the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. The ACSI/RIAA guide provides information for investors on how to incorporate investments into their modern slavery reporting and meaningfully address modern slavery risks.

ACSI CEO Louise Davidson said the new guide was developed to help investors report under the Act.

“Modern Slavery is likely to exist in the operations or supply chains of most businesses. Beyond the devastating human impact, poor management of human rights impacts upon the commercial success, stability and longevity of investments,” she said.

“ACSI and RIAA have collaborated to ensure investors have a clear path on how to tackle these issues and promote sustainability in their operations and supply chains. We encourage investors and companies to report within the spirit of the new law and work to develop their capacity to identify, manage, address and remediate modern slavery risks and impacts.”

“It will take time and global effort to address modern slavery. Effective reporting will help to drive global awareness and ultimately improvement in practices. Investors are well placed to lead the change,” she said.

RIAA CEO Simon O’Connor said the guide has been designed to help investors lead with action in respecting human rights and tackling modern slavery.

“We encourage superannuation funds, fund managers and others to use this guide to strengthen their own reporting under the new law. In doing so, investors will be in a stronger position to guide companies around better disclosures and human rights risk management.”

“The guide builds on the work of ACSI and RIAA’s members to highlight the importance of business recognising and managing human rights in investment operations and portfolios.” he said

Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood, welcomed the launch of the guidance.

“The investor community has a vital role to play in combating modern slavery. This initiative between the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia is an example of collaboration that can lead to best-practice guidance for specific industries. This guidance complements the Government’s official guidance and will provide a useful resource to support investors to meet their obligations under the Modern Slavery Act,” Assistant Minister Wood said.

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