The fourth and final publication in a collaborative research project between nine academic and civil society organisations has been released, providing guidance for businesses on core aspects of human rights due diligence and how to strengthen their responses to Australia’s Modern Slavery Act (MSA).
The Good Practice Toolkit draws on findings from the multi-year project showing how companies are responding to the MSA and conducting human rights due diligence. It identifies and addresses two areas of business practice that are notably weak: engagement with stakeholders; and engagement with suppliers.
Associate Professor Vikram Bhakoo from the Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne, is one of the Toolkit’s creators.
"The Good Practice Toolkit offers valuable insights into core aspects of human rights due diligence and presents effective strategies to ensure businesses are aligned with Australia's Modern Slavery Act,” said Associate Professor Bhakoo.
“By providing information on stakeholder engagement and supplier relationships, the Toolkit equips businesses with essential guidance to integrate human rights considerations into their operations,” he said.
- Prioritise suppliers with demonstrated respect for human rights.
- Work in partnership with suppliers in designing and communicating expectations.
- Conduct meaningful and sustained engagement with workers and their representatives.
- Engage with relevant stakeholders in the design of policies.
- Use effective grievance mechanisms as an engagement tool.
The Good Practice Toolkit: Strengthening Modern Slavery Responses is the fourth report released in a multi-year collaborative project evaluating company responses to Australia's modern slavery reporting regime. It follows earlier reports, ‘Australia’s Modern Slavery Act: Is It Fit For Purpose?’, ‘Broken Promises’, and ‘Paper Promises’. All reports can be read here.
This research was undertaken by academics from the Australian Human Rights Institute (UNSW Sydney), Business and Human Rights Centre (RMIT), the University of Melbourne, the University of Notre Dame Australia, the University of Western Australia and Willamette University, together with the Human Rights Law Centre, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and Baptist World Aid.
The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) has been under a three-year statutory review lead by Professor John McMillan AO, which concluded in March 2023. A review report was released on 25 May 2023.