The Australian Government’s landmark Modern Slavery Act (Cth) 2018 aims to change the way entities do business to reduce the risk that the goods and services we use every day are the product of modern slavery.
The Modern Slavery Act aims to support the Australian business community to identify and address their modern slavery risks and maintain responsible and transparent supply chains.
Increasing business awareness about modern slavery risks is an important step toward reducing modern slavery risks in the production and supply chains of Australian goods and services, and improving workplace practices.
The University recognises there are risks of modern slavery within its supply chains of goods and services it buys. University staff are continually working to further improve the University’s approach to combating modern slavery within its operations.
What is modern slavery?
Modern slavery is a hidden crime, involving grave abuses of human rights and serious crimes. The term modern slavery is used to describe situations where coercion, threats or deception are used to exploit victims and undermine or deprive them of their freedom. These situations can include forced labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, and slavery. The United Nations and the Walk Free Foundation estimate there are approximately 40 million victims of modern slavery around the world.
The nature and extent of modern slavery means there is a high risk that it may be present in an entity’s operations and supply chains. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights entities are responsible for respecting human rights in their operations and supply chains. This includes taking action to respond to modern slavery risks. Modern slavery risks mean the risk of harm to people rather than the risk to an entity like the Univeristy (such as reputational or financial damage).
Further information on identifying and assessing modern slavery risks in supply chains and operations can be found in the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018 – Guidance for Reporting Entities (PDF).
What action is the University of Tasmania taking?
The University is committed to protecting and respecting human rights and has a zero-tolerance approach to slavery and human trafficking in all its forms. The University is taking a risk-based, continuous improvement approach to managing risks of modern slavery for University students, staff, partners, stakeholders and its wider local and global community.
The University will continue to evaluate the success of its initiatives over the life of its Modern Slavery Continuous Improvement Plan. The plan’s focus revolves around the procurement of goods and services, student experience, research, some areas of learning and teaching and future international exposure to modern slavery. The University's Governance and Compliance team leads the initiatives and supports all areas across the University to identify and remediate risks.
Developing programs that assess the domestic community and partners to prevent and deter modern slavery through supporting stakeholders to understand, assess, and address modern slavery risks within global operations. The University will continue to work with the Australian University Procurement Network (AUPN) and leverage due diligence, while investigating supply chains that are not covered under AUPN assessment.
Increasing access to tailored information and support to provide effective avenues to support and empower victims and survivors.
Utilising open source third party platforms and geographic indicators to identify high risk partners and institutions and carry out due diligence to understand risks associated with ethical procurement of biological samples and clinical trials.
Utilising open source third party platforms and geographic indicators to carry out due diligence on identified high risk partners.
Learning & Teaching
Exploring avenues to promote awareness and deliver educative resources to the University and broader community.
Legal & Risk
Engaging with stakeholders and partners, internally and externally, to develop and distribute tailored solutions to the University’s modern slavery risk.
Modern Slavery in Australia
Modern Slavery happens in Australia too. The Anti-Slavery Australia organisation has information about modern slavery in Australia. They estimate more than 1900 people in Australia are victims of modern slavery with only 1 in 5 detected.
How might our staff and students be affected by this?
It is possible that University staff, students or family members may know or suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery. This might be in Australia or overseas. The Walk Free Foundation is an international human rights group focussed on the eradication of modern slavery, in all its forms, in our lifetime. Their website contains many useful resources for those who would like to know more about this important cause.
- Getting informed
Currently there are an estimated 40.3 million people around the world living in modern slavery; more than any other time in human history.
- Demanding transparency
As a community member, staff member, or student you can contribute toward the eradication of modern slavery.
Discover resources, including insight into ethical fashion and a template for contacting brands.
- Championing accountability
Find out how you can help with access to useful resources in advocating for the modern slavery cause.
Need to report modern slavery?
Safe and Fair Community Unit
The Safe and Fair Community Unit (SaFCU) is a University service which provides support, advice and information to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our University community.
You have the option to report anonymously or provide your name and contact details.
Here you can report:
- Concerns about modern slavery
- Disclosures or reports of modern slavery
- Child safety concerns
- Wellbeing concerns about yourself or someone you know
University of Tasmania Legal Services
- Mailing address
University of Tasmania
Division of the Chief Operating Officer
Legal & Audit
Private Bag 42
2nd Floor, Corporate Services Building
TT Flynn Street
Sandy Bay 7005