HESTA is advocating for an end to modern slavery
This post was sponsored by HESTA.
The United Nations estimates that over 40 million workers in the world are suffering from some form of labour abuse, or modern slavery. Modern slavery includes forced labour, bonded labour or debt bondage, adult or child sex trafficking, domestic servitude, forced child labour or the use of child soldiers.
That’s why HESTA supports Australia’s Modern Slavery Act. The Modern Slavery Act compels companies of a certain size to make an annual public statement detailing how they have assessed the risk of slavery in their business operations. It also asks something extra of superannuation and investment companies that we understand the risk of modern slavery in our investments as well as the way we operate.
Creating a better future for all
“We want to make sure that our investments help create a better future for our members through supporting a healthy economy, environment and society. So it’s important that all investors take this obligation seriously and really consider how the placement of capital can influence better outcomes for people globally,” says HESTA Head of Impact, Mary Delahunty.
“The existence of Modern Slavery represents a risk to major investors such as HESTA. We need to pay attention to what is going on behind the scenes, to know what is happening in our supply chains and to influence change where we can.
”To achieve a greater understanding of where our risks might be, we have looked at the business in three ways. Firstly, at HESTA we always assess our role as a good employer. We look also at who we are doing business with through our procurement. Secondly, we have partnered with Social Traders to make sure we have access to businesses accredited as social ventures. And thirdly, we look at our investments. We have conducted research to determine the sectors and the geographic areas that present the greatest risk. Over the coming year we will work diligently to better understand these risks and remedy them where we can,” says Mary.
The first HESTA Modern Slavery Statement will be available from 31 March 2021.
“Financial services providers have a big role to play in tackling these human rights abuses,” says Mary. “Through HESTA Impact we seek to drive real world positive outcomes using corporate responsibility, responsible investment and advocacy in relation to risks of modern slavery.
“This aligns closely with our support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8- Decent Work and SDG5 – Gender Equality.”
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* Australian Council of Superannuation Investors 2020.
Issued by H.E.S.T. Australia Ltd ABN 66 006 818 695 AFSL 235249, the Trustee of Health Employees Superannuation Trust Australia (HESTA) ABN 64 971 749 321.
This information is of a general nature. It does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or specific needs so you should look at your own financial position and requirements before making a decision. You may wish to consult an adviser when doing this. Before making a decision about HESTA products you should read the relevant product disclosure statement (call 1800 813 327 or visit hesta.com.au for a copy), and consider any relevant risks (hesta.com.au/understandingrisk).