Archbishop Anthony Fisher appointed the Anti-Slavery Taskforce to enact his vision for the Archdiocese of Sydney to lead the Australian Catholic Church response to end modern slavery.
A wide-ranging scope of work is underway in regard to compliance with the Australian Government Modern Slavery Act statutory obligations to report on actions taken to eradicate modern slavery from the supply chains of goods and services procured by Catholic entities including schools, universities, welfare, health and aged care.
The Taskforce also delivers education and outreach to parishes and staff of agencies that may come across potential victims of slavery-like practices, providing guidance on identification, best practice response, welfare support and referral pathways.
The Taskforce has a program to support and empower survivors of slavery to have a public voice, speaking opportunities and to be strong advocates for change.
The Taskforce is undertaking research on world’s best practice in regard to managing investments and property assets in regard to ensuring Catholic finance, insurance, development funds and superannuation schemes are not tainted with modern slavery.
The Taskforce has developed an Ethical Purchasing Guide – Shop for Good – a purchasing program of everyday goods for use by priests and parishes, communities, families and individuals to ensure recommended products are slavery-free.
The Taskforce continues to advocate for anti-slavery supply chain strategies in the public and private sectors, both in Australia and elsewhere.
In this way, the Catholic Church in Australia will be a leader in the eradication of modern slavery and human trafficking and child labour as envisaged in 8.7 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030.
The vision of Pope Francis that this generation eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking will, in this way, be achieved.
Alison Rahill, Executive Officer