Webinar - Modern Slavery in Australia with Fiona McLeod AO S.C. & Professor Jennifer Burn

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Transcript:

Rachel: So just in the interest of time and being able to get through what is going to be, hopefully, a good conversation we might get started. People might drop in and join us as we go.

For those of you who don't know me, I am Rachel, the Executive Director at Project Respect. I want to thank everyone for joining us today for this special event - and to hear about a really important issue in the Australian community, which is often overlooked. We felt that today - the ninety-fourth anniversary of the Slavery Convention in Geneva - was an honourable day for such an event. I want to start our event today by acknowledging the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land on which we meet. Today I'm sitting on the lands of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, and we're really fortunate that we've got people joining us from a range of locations and states today. Project Respect also acknowledges and pays respect to past, present and future custodians and elders on this land other nations and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational knowledge of Aboriginal Peoples. I would like to acknowledge that the lands we are all meeting on have never been ceded.

So Project Respect is really honoured to have here with us today two very special guests, Fiona McLoud AOC and Professor Jennifer Burn to discuss modern slavery in Australia and the support needs of victim-survivors. It's actually really difficult to give Jen and Fiona a proper introduction with the time that we have as they have both done so much in their careers. They both have a long history of involvement in anti-trafficking and slavery space in Australia. Both have played an active part in informing Government on current and emerging issues and have been instrumental in driving policy and legislative change. Fiona is, among many other things, the former President of the Law Council of Australia and appears in matters relating to trafficking and slavery. And Jen is the founder of Anti Slavery Australia and the current interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner in New South Wales. For all their legal and subject matter expertise what we at Project Respect admire about Jen and Fiona is that they don't lose sight of the person at the centre of the crime and they continue to advocate for the human rights of people who have been enslaved and trafficked in Australia to be fulfilled, and this is really at the core of Project Respect's work. And it's unfortunate that I have to say, but sometimes this can be difficult to achieve within Australia's framework, which I'm sure we will explore later today.

I'm sure there are a few people in the call today who watched the Four Corners episode on Tuesday evening which was titled 'The hunt for Britain's Slave Gangs". Even though I'm regularly exposed to the experiences of people being trafficked, the interviews with the survivors in the documentary were really distressing and highlighted the psychological and emotional impact slavery and trafficking can have on individuals, which supports the need for adequate and tailored support to assist people to heal and recover from their experiences. So with all that in mind, let's get started. We'll hear from Fiona and Jen about Modern Slavery in Australia and how we as a country can meet the support needs of victim-survivors. 

Just to kick-off, as I mentioned, the two of you have a very long history in the space, so perhaps the two of you could tell us a little bit about how you got involved and some of the changes you've experienced or seen over the years in relation to trafficking and slavery in Australia.

Fiona: Okay, sure. Can I too acknowledge the traditional owners, I'm on Wurundjeri land as well, and it's lovely to see a number of others present on the same land and acknowledge the owners continuous ownership of this land and custodianship of them, and to welcome and acknowledge any leaders that may be amongst us today. Thanks, Rachel, for that lovely introduction. I first met Jen back in 2005. I think it was ahead of the first National Roundtable on Human Trafficking. And she is truly a most extraordinary lawyer, a campaigner, an activist and a dear friend. She continues to inspire me, so it just a joy to be here with you Jen. For more than a decade, I've had the genuine pleasure of working closely on these issues with Jen, Project Respect, and so many of you here today. I saw Red Cross and Chris Payne, here today and [Chris Payne] was back then heading up the old task force on human trafficking, and it was this contact with Chris- who first asked a young commercial practising lawyer for help- that's how I got involved. 

So can I start by expressing my gratitude to all who make Project Respect and it's critical work possible. For many of us, it's very clear there are many things critical to the work against human trafficking and slavery- given how overwhelming the numbers are, how painful the cases are, and how terrible the individual stories are - the visibility of the issue and the persistence of people around this space. When I was first exposed to the shocking reality of trafficking in Australia I was stunned by the seriousness of the abuse and also the fact that it was happening right under our noses. My exposure, with Chris, was working on Ning's case- the first civil case in Australia on behalf of a survivor of human trafficking- who was trafficked here at the age of 13 and forced to work in a Sydney brothel. When I heard about her case, my eldest daughter was 13 years old, and I couldn't believe that while my daughter was living a life of freedom and opportunity, someone else's daughter was being abused under our noses. So we explored our options and realised a claim against the brothel owners wouldn't get us anywhere- the criminal matter relied completely on police resources. So we brought a victim's of crime compensation claim which was ultimately successful so, that's how I got introduced into the whole thing and became a member of the National Roundtable.

Rachel: Thanks, Fiona.

Jennifer: Thank you, Rachel, I'm here on Gadigal land of the Eora Nation. It's an honour to be here today. Thank you for the invitation to speak on this significant day, the 94th anniversary of the making of the Slavery Convention. I'm thrilled to be here with you Fiona. When Rachel contacted us, I thought "wasn't it wonderful to know we'd be on the same panel speaking within the context of Project Respect?". We each have so much admiration for the work that you do at Project Respect, and I am so pleased to be here with you. I want to acknowledge everyone that is here with us, so many here have been part of the journey to protect the rights of trafficked and enslaved people. I want to thank you all for the work you are continuing to do to protect the rights of people who are experiencing one of the gravest forms of exploitation imaginable.

How did I get involved? Well, back in the day, it was the early 2000's, so around about the time of the making of another convention- the Trafficking Protocol, which was protocol attached to the convention 'Transnational Organised Crime Convention'. That was 20 years ago- the Trafficking Protocol was made by the UN and this set out the first internationally agreed definition of human trafficking. At that time, just after that I took on a position here at UTS and started to research within the UTS law centre- as an academic exercise but thinking about the trafficking protocol within international law- asking the questions, 'was it something that could be relevant here in Australia? The trafficking of people?'. Then fairly soon after that, Project Respect was front and centre in this debate, especially around some of the advocacy around the death of Puongtong Simpalee. So really, Miss Sampallee's case highlighted to us, that there could be the potential for trafficking into Australia. Now whether she was trafficked is still the subject of contested facts. Still, I'm fairly certain after that, I certainly started to represent women trafficked into Australia, and I have been doing that since 2003. 

And you know, it's really tough working in this environment, and the people we meet are so heroic, and the stories are so brave and so hard to hear and so hard to bear. But meeting Fiona along the way has been, really significant. I think we've been able to support each other in the work we've been doing for such a long time- there's been a lot we've worked on collaboratively and it's always been such a source of strength to me, to know I can call on Fiona and discuss ideas, and problems and think about the next policy ideas and so on. You know, we have worked together on major policy issues, and perhaps we can come back to this a little bit later.

Rachel: Thanks Jen, Thanks Fiona, and it's so lovely to hear the history of the two of you. I know on occasion, I often shoot off little emails to the two of you seeking advice, and you are always so generous in supporting us as well, so thank you. 

Moving along, into the more nitty-gritty. Statistics relating to modern slavery are really difficult to establish, and we know that recent research from the Australian Instrument of Criminology (AIC) indicates that between a couple of years [surveyed], there's was approx. 1300-1900 victim-survivors in Australia. The Walk Free Foundation sometimes puts up the figure of fifteen-thousand, but the AIC research was really interesting in that, it was able to highlight that for every one victim-survivor found there were four undetected in the Australian community. Since 2004, there have been 841 cases referred through to the Australian Feral Police (AFP) for trafficking-related crimes but yet in the same timeframe there have been 21 convictions in Australia. So this is not a huge percentage of the referrals that go through. 

So why is modern slavery so difficult to detect and prosecute in Australia?

Fiona: I'm going to defer to the interim Anti-Slavery Commissioner for this one first, and then I'll chip in at the end.

Jennifer: It's clear the major issue is that - modern slavery is hidden in plain sight.  

Rachel, in your introduction you mentioned the Four Corners program that I'm sure so many of us saw this week. The people exploited, as shown in that documentary, were literally hidden in plain sight. They really were some of the most vulnerable people, deceived into travelling into the UK and then exploited there under the most terrible circumstances. They were visible - but there was no identification, and this is what we're seeing here in Australia in so many sectors and so many industries. We know that so many people are exploited, in many forms of modern slavery, and remember that modern slavery is an umbrella term that includes all types of slavery, trafficking and so on. There are people exploited in these harmful situations who are never detected, and this is one of the big problems - that we don't have a community to identify modern slavery. We don't know what modern slavery looks like. 

It's also really important to think of it this way- many of us (people working in assisting services) may come across people experiencing family violence or seeking help around a visa, or seeking help around employment conditions. These people are asking for help around something specific, but deeper questioning might reveal they are also victim-survivors of modern slavery. So it's really about asking the questions and knowing what questions to ask. And when I'm thinking about this and thinking about my personal experiences before I started to work with modern slavery or trafficking, back when I worked in immigration law at a community law centre - I saw hundreds of people there over many years, and often I'd help people with visa issues or through family violence provisions in the Immigration Act or perhaps in relation to a protection visa or whatever it was. Now thinking back, I say without any doubt that some of the people I saw were also victims of modern slavery. So it's ensuring all of us on the front line who have connections with people that are seeking help, all of us must have the skills that we need to identify modern slavery. It's important because it lets us take the next step, which is to ensure that people have the information that they need to make an informed choice about what they do next. So that's one of the major issues for me that slavery is not recognised, it is hidden in plain sight.

Rachel: Thanks Jen, and we [Project Respect] have actually had, through our delivery of training, have had quite a few people, for example, lawyers working immigration law, because of our training, the penny dropped that that person presenting with family violence was actually more likely trafficked and its that lack of awareness. 

Fiona: And the same thing is experienced by police officers who might attend a situation for what they think is domestic violence and then if they dig a little deeper, they might understand what the history of exploitation and abuse is. Can I say Rachel- that I agree with Jen that awareness is the first critical thing. This is because it is the awareness that generates a political will to do something about it. The second hurdle is that exploitation benefits people who make profit either knowingly or unknowingly out of exploited labour. So if you have a cheap supply chain, it benefits you more to not look too closely about why those goods are provided at a lower cost than it does to observe basic human rights principles. And the third hurdle in Australia is probably resourcing. Although the Home Affairs team are doing a terrific job- we don't have an Anti-Slavery Commissioner at a national level. We don't have the ability for that team [Home Affairs] to be doing multiple boardroom visits, or training companies about how to implement procedures and processes to drill down into their supply chains. 

And let's not forget- there are criminal enterprises here that thrive on the suffering of others and they are ingenious and often change their methods to avoid detection and in many cases, clothe themselves with a front of respectability. Then, of course, there are businesses which buy goods and services from these criminal fronts without enquiring on whether those goods and services are tainted by the misery of human exploitation. There are also issues with compliance, whether that compliance is wholehearted and enthusiastic or if they are just paying lip service and washing their practices and generating press releases about their 'noble' behaviour. We don't have any consequences for a breach of the Modern Slavery regime- it is still a voluntary system. Even though it is described as mandatory for large companies, there are actually no consequences for a breach. There is also a failure to reach and encourage victims to come forward, and a lack of adequate support to rebuild their lives including migration, welfare, and financial support and compensation, as well as the constant and steady funding of those organisations who deliver those services. These organisations have to keep going through the funding rounds every two or three years and they might miss out, or they might get lucky and be able to keep providing these services, but that means that each of these organisations is distracted for a large period of time, and a large portion of their staff and focus is on their own financial survival. 

And as mentioned, there's an ignorance or an apathy at all levels, and I just want to say this- I think we allow this to occur because we make judgements about people. We make judgements about people who are in this situation- who they are, what their capacity to help themselves is. We make judgements about what they want, how they should be treated in our society, whether we should denigrate them for being in a situation where they can be exploited and so on. For example, we make assumptions all the time about people who are working in the sex industry or seasonal workers, somehow as if they are volunteering themselves to being abused or know what they are getting into. As if they have the capacity or wherewithal to extract themselves from that abuse, and I think that we also assume that the terrible situation they are confronted with is still better than the situation that they may have come from. So the truth is, if you scratch the surface of the supply chain of most organisations, you will find human rights abuses and exploitation tolerated or even actively pursued for profit advantages. Now most organisations and most consumers would be shocked to learn the truth of that, so we need systems that expose it continually- in what we buy, in what we contract for services- so that we are reminding those who supply to us and depend on our money for their profitability that we care about these things.

Rachel: Thanks Fiona, very very true. And I think that the implementation of the Modern Slavery Act - although lots of people advocated for many other things to be included in it- is at least a start in building that awareness within the Australian community. So we've all referred to the Four Corners and it really highlighted how important it was for victim-survivors to provide evidence or come forward in a slavery matter. 

Australia is considered to have a criminal justice approach to victim-survivor support- so why is our response framed this way and what does this mean and what is the impact on victim-survivors? 

 Jennifer: We should go back to the beginning when thinking about the Australian response to human trafficking. And the beginning is, of course, the trafficking protocol which is a criminal justice response. The protocol is unique for a number of reasons, and I've already mentioned that it provides the first international definition of human trafficking. But it is set out within a Transnational Organised Crime Convention which is the framework for the protocol. It is not a human right's instrument. Yet within the actual protocol human right's are prioritised and States are encouraged to consider providing survivors with appropriate protections and support but these provisions are not mandatory and States are recommended to take certain steps. So that's the issue- in the very beginning the process was located within a criminal justice framework, but we have since that time been trying to step out of that framework and look at a more human right's based approach. And there's been very significant developments over the last twenty years, since the protocol was made, that do start to take steps towards a fully implemented human rights framework but there is still a lot more to do. 

So you mention the criminal justice process, and you touched on the barriers that people might experience when they are approaching that framework, and Fiona has direct experience in this area - but people, as you would know Rachel, people can be terrified of the Australian authorities and of the Australian law enforcement and the federal police. They are fearful of what might happen to them, unknowing of their rights and entitlements within Australia and firmly convinced if they go forward and present their story they will be detained and possibly be taken to immigration detention and ultimately deported. This is a huge challenge for us and we must do more to articulate the support system that is in place but also to articulate the support that is not in place. So for example, we do have representatives from the Australian Red Cross with us today. The Red Cross do a great job in providing support to people who have been identified as victim-survivors of modern slavery but ultimately, the support program is itself restricted to the criminal justice framework. There have been some amendments, some very welcome amendments in the way the program operates particularity with the creation of the two-hundred-day program which provides extended support to those who are fearing or in forced marriage. Still, beyond that, the support program itself is linked to a requirement that the people contribute to a law enforcement process. So I'd like to see more thinking around that, and the development of a support program that isn't so tightly hinged to a criminal justice process. Perhaps a little more flexibility even on a discretionary basis. But it's absolutely clear that people will fall through the gaps. There are people who have been identified as victim-survivors that, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to participate in the criminal justice system or it may be the decision of law enforcement that there is insufficient evidence to progress. Such people will not be entitled to the benefit of the support program so this presents a huge dilemma and results in extended support from Project Respect and other organisations to fill the gaps, because there's really no doubt that about the existence of a person who has experienced modern slavery but they are not entitled to the support program that would otherwise provide support to them. So yes, more to be done there.

Rachel: Yes, definitely. 

Fiona: So I totally agree with Jen that the framework that we have to deal with trafficking and modern slavery is through international law instruments which have flowed through Australian domestic laws, and the way we deal with this is within the Commonwealth criminal code essentially, and it is question of policing. Only recently have we started to look through a labour lens. So asking - where are the fair paying conditions that support people not being exploited? An example is the 7/11 case, which is an example of cheap labour being abused. Even more recently is the human right's framework for looking at victim-centred approaches and you can see why it doesn't work because these are multidimensional problems driven by complex socio and economic factors that flourish in conditions of poverty, conflict, or poor governance, indifference and so on. And then you try and impose law enforcement on top of poverty and say we're going to prosecute based on what happens because of poverty, you can see that already there is a tension there. Prosecutions only work when you have complaints and credible evidence you can present to a court of cases occurring and securing a conviction. Yet every step along the way from the police investigation, to the prosecutor who presents things in court, to the witnesses who have to be willing to give evidence in court there is a tension because if witnesses are not supported in the process they won't complain. If they are not supported in the process or if they are in fear of another form of retribution their visa status for example, they won't complain. If the victims are afraid there will be retribution in terms of family members being exposed to the same sort of process they won't complain. So it's critical to have that human right's focus, and for the law enforcement to be successful, you have to have that support in place which is not a usual way of thinking for prosecutors I can tell you. You have to think about not just what the court needs to secure a conviction but what the victims need to ensure a broader response. The problem is then exasperated by these highly sophisticated criminal networks, unethical commercial enterprises and so on. And, I have to say, the social denigration of women and girls in developing countries, who aren't valued for themselves as individuals. As well as the approach in terms of labour- the LIO estimates profits from labour exploitation exceed 150b annually. As Jen said the extent of which slavery and human trafficking occurs in Australia is unclear but we do have this growing awareness in law enforcement and police officers and increasingly industrial regulators and unions of this exploitation and how its manifested here in Australia with programs like Four Corners.

Jennifer: It's so important to have the victim-centred approach isn't it? There are so many elements to that. One of the reflections I had when I watched the Four Corners program- I felt so uneasy about some of the use of language in that program and I would be interested to know if you share this view but the voiceover referred to people as slaves in a way that ultimately was quite dehumanising. I think getting the language right is so important and referring to people in that way takes away from their humanity, I think. They are people who have been exploited terribly but they are more than a slave for a purpose of a Four Corners program or a BBC program. 

But this is all part of a human rights response, you know thinking about how we can put the victim at the centre of everything we do and that's what we both been trying to do for so long, is to put the victim at the centre of the initiatives we develop, the proposals we put forward for policy and really underscore the rational under our responses that have been made publicly, in respect to how do we approve our response to modern slavery. So we think about the dignity of the individual and how we can support that person, recognise them, ensure that have everything they need so that they can make an informed decision on what they want to do. We can't rush in we have to support people within our professional context.

Rachel: I think that within the [Four Corners] program and this is reflected within some of the women we support- they will often assist and then the victim-survivor will feel exploited again by the system. And it might just be in that documentary that they didn't show what other supports where in place but after they had used them in the case they gave them a little pat on the hand, and said thanks so much you've helped us with this case. That really hit home for me, particularly about not having enough supports in place to help people heal and recover and I know Jen and Fiona in your various roles and you've already mentioned it now, but you've put forth a lot of recommendations on what we as a country could potentially do to foster a better victim centred, or human rights approach. 

Did you want to share with us some of those recommendations in what we could do to support, whether it be through the criminal justice system or in just fostering a new way of supporting survivors?

Jennifer: It's so important to recognise the role of each organisation working in this area. So law enforcement has a role, the DPP has a role, and those roles are constrained and performed very well. But the human right's approach will allow us to take a broader perspective and we can draw on international instruments as well as a huge body of domestic advocacy and policy development to be able to pinpoint areas where there is a need for greater consistency or improvement. And Fiona we could basically sing what I'm going to talk about next - and that is the urgent need for a National Compensation Scheme, which is something that Fiona really initiated a very long time ago, and I think Fiona you should talk about that case and then I can talk about the National Compensation Scheme.

Fiona: Sure. So there are a number of tools you could use within a justice system and within a policing system to support survivors of exploitation and trafficking, and there are simple things we know which applies to many vulnerable witnesses. In the case of people who have been trafficked, its interpretive services, financial support, access to information about rights and navigating the legal system. Its also assurance about authorities who they might fear, or who might have condoned their incidences of trafficking in the first place, it's the fear of actual deprivation of liberty through threats and manipulation so you've got to set up a protection scheme and I've mentioned before the fear of deportation or job loss or consequences or financial harm or actual harm to themselves or family members. In Australia we don't extend immigration amnesty to survivors and as Jen mentioned the visa conditions mean that survivors risk deportation if they speak out especially if their presence in Australia is conditional on a formal or informal sponsorship from an exploitative employer. But the Support for Trafficked People program largely works because police AFP has taken a generous discretion to include people in the program but there are still people who fall through the gaps. 

In terms of a National Compensation Scheme for survivors of trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices- firstly the Palermo protocol compels it, and we are a party to that. This time a few years ago the Law Council and Anti-Slavery Australia launched a report which outlined with clarity the need for a National Compensation Scheme and we argue that the statutory compensation schemes which are currently in place with the States and Territories allow for unjust results and for victims to fall through the cracks. They are simply not designed to accommodate victims of these sort of crimes, which are federal crimes. And often these crimes- trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices, don't exist at the State and Territory level and may not qualify a person as an act of violence for compensation under those schemes. Victims of crimes can only seek compensation where the harms they've suffered can be analogised with a State or Territory level crime. So you have to find an equivalence and for many cases, that's done by describing something as an assault or a sexual assault. There's not an equivalence. And compensation for assault or false imprisonment doesn't necessarily respond to the full range of harm that those who have been trafficked or held in slavery-like conditions are facing. Another issue is that State and Territory schemes vary in consistency in their application, and the maximum awards vary from state to state. So for example, if you are a victim in Queensland, you're going to get less than you would if you were a trafficked person in Adelaide which is just insanity- that it depends on the luck of the draw where you end up what your level of compensation is. The compensation scheme is not just to provide justice to people which is so important, but also to incentive victims to come forwards and tell their story. 

One of the cases which Chris Payne and I did for Ning, when she came to Australia and she had successfully achieved compensation for the crimes against her she said this "I don't need to be ashamed anymore to be in Australia." And she realised that she was not at fault for what happened to her. Can you imagine, this 13-year-old girl who has been raped a hundred times in a brothel believes that it's her fault that she was in that situation somehow? But the award of compensation for her was a kind of justice, and she saw that she didn't have to deal with that, and she didn't have to carry that shame with her anymore. So it's so important that we mark, and our legal system marks, about where the fault lies for these individuals so that they have a sense of personal justice and they can rebuild their lives for themselves. 

In another case, we had a Victorian case, a victim's claim for compensation was before a Magistrate who took a very legalistic approach to it. He decided to invite the offender to attend the hearing in the name of natural justice to that person, who might have been named- not publicly because its a confidential process- but named in the process. The victim was then faced with the decision to withdraw her claim or the probability that she would have to face her abuser in court, even though the AFP were supporting her claim and they were describing her as a victim of trafficking and that they accepted that - she batted on luckily. However, these are the sort of factors which can act as a disincentive and a reason why victims have little confidence in the justice system. 

Jennifer: There are some wonderful developments that I think we can think about and I'd like to mention one of them which is, I think emblematic of the way Australia has developed its response to modern slavery, and that is that ASA recently received a grant from the Australian Government to develop a National Anti-Slavery partnership. This is something that's going to be significant throughout the whole of our country and which will provide a platform for shared collaboration, advocacy and partnership- including to find a way to invite survivors to engage in the process of development of policy and response to policy. This is something that recognises the geographic nature of Australia but also will provide a practical way for people to connect across Australia and share advocacy information about the next responses within the trafficking and slavery framework. And I mean, we really could be talking all day. 

Rachel: Absolutely I could listen to the two of you talk all day and it is such an interesting topic to discuss. But the final question I think that could be really useful for our guests today, is what should the future look like or more importantly now, how can the community get involved to try and foster changes in this space?

Fiona: Well, just in a short form, beyond the work of Government, companies will be instrumental in the fight against trafficking and slavery. Organisations can adopt the best practice review and reporting mechanisms that are available on the home affairs website, but each of us can be involved in awareness-raising and education. Each of us can make educated choices about shopping for our work and for our home, looking for free trade and other assurance products that are slavery-free and I was really pleased to see that you got some law firms attending today too, because law firms can assist to by not only reviewing the current legal framework and identifying where the room for improvement is, but in the board room meetings demonstrating through risk and compliance the best way to meet best practice by drafting model laws and contractual precedence to challenge the way markets operate and Governments respond. Or by even- here's an idea - bringing strategic class action litigation against major offenders. 

Governments can consider the targeted trade mechanisms available to them to address state-sponsored modern slavery abuses. For example, the US recently passed the ever first Forced Labour Prevention Act which is a presumptive ban which will affect 80 global products, on the importation of goods from Guangdong so they can't access the US market and they got to that point where they realised it was impossible to perform an effective audit on the source of labour coming from that province and said, therefore, we're preemptively banning it. Now I don't know that Australia wants to weigh into that fight, that's obviously a diplomatic issue but for individuals, you can support organisations like Project Respect to deliver the vital service delivery and advocacy work. 

Also, we must never forget that human right's risks in business supply chains are not just about the risk to the business but the risk to humans. They are the woman in the sweatshop and the child put in a shoebox and shipped over the Mekong river to the other side in the hope of a better future. They are the students picking our fruit and washing our dishes in restaurants as seasonal workers. So they are the human beings who are affected and they have to be at the centre of every conversation we have and each of you on this call today has a way to reach a business you know and a person you know to tell them that. Our privilege, our wealth and our strong rule of law makes us a country well placed to take part in this on a global basis; we have an opportunity to send that message across the world. 

Jennifer: I agree completely with what Fiona said. We all have a responsibility as individuals but also as members of our community, whatever these communities are. There are faith-based groups here with us today, there are academics and business communities here, and professionals- we all have a duty. We have a duty to make ethical and moral decisions ourselves, but also a duty to promote this message within our sphere, whatever our sphere is. To ensure that victims of modern slavery are better protected- whether they've been harmed in a global supply chain or a supermarket, or fields or private home - whatever the industry we must all come together to do what we can to prevent this harm from taking place. We all have a personal responsibility to prevent this from taking place. 


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  • Rebecca Hay
    published this page 2020-11-06 12:28:22 +1100