Modern Slavery Program: Business and Human Rights Strategy
Led by President Croucher, the Commission’s three-year ‘Strategy for Business and Human Rights’ seeks to leverage the growing momentum internationally and domestically around the 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) and other business and human rights (BHR) frameworks.
In particular, it responds to the significant legislative and policy developments with the Australian BHR landscape in 2018. This includes the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (NSW), and the Government’s ongoing reforms to the Australian OECD National Contact Point. The next three years present an exciting opportunity to build on these developments and progress the BHR agenda in Australia and the region.
This year a contribution to the program’s objective to ‘increase capability among Australian businesses to identify, prevent and address modern slavery in their operations and supply chains’ was made by the Annual Business and Human Rights Dialogue project (reported below).
Annual Human Rights Dialogue on Business and Human Rights: Beyond modern slavery
For the fifth consecutive year, the Dialogue—Australia’s annual multi-sector, multi-stakeholder forum—brought over 100 stakeholders together to drive the business and human rights agenda forward. The 2018 Dialogue was convened in partnership with the Global Compact Network Australia in November 2018, in Sydney. The theme for the Dialogue was ‘Embedding Human Rights in Global Supply Chains: Modern Slavery and Beyond’.
A strength of the 2018 Dialogue was the perspective from a survivor of modern slavery. This set the tone for the day and reminded all participants that modern slavery is not just something that occurs offshore but within Australia. It also reinforced the importance of situating modern slavery efforts within a broader human rights framework.
To build content knowledge and confidence the event was a mix of seminars and interactive discussions designed to engage and inform participants. Figure 3 below is a snapshot of the reach and relevance evaluation results. Overall, the evaluation concluded that the Dialogue is a highly valued event that builds the capacity of participants; as such, it has become an important annual fixture on the calendar of the business and human rights community in Australia.
Inclusive leadership: Royal Australian Navy
Commissioner Jenkins leads our Defence Cultural Reform Collaboration program. Under this program, the team worked with the Royal Australian Navy to develop three inclusive behaviour modules for early ranks, and three inclusive leadership modules for middle management, to be integrated into the Navy’s overarching training for each cohort.
The project supports the Navy’s development of a diverse, inclusive and respectful workplace. The modules help participants to reframe attitudes around the value of diversity and inclusion by building individual knowledge of, confidence with, and commitment to, inclusive behaviours.
As part of the review of materials developed, a ‘train the trainer’ session was convened with a group of Navy facilitators who experienced and evaluated the modules as both trainers and participants. As trainers, real-time feedback was built into the training and this was used to improve the modules. As participants, the evaluation showed that most had personally benefited from the training. For example, Figure 4 below shows the self-reported ‘before’ to ‘after’ change in two of the training indicators (using a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = low and 10 = high).
The content of the modules was then finalised with Navy facilitators. Structured feedback from this session confirmed that the facilitators were confident that the modules would deliver the planned learning outcomes—with all the facilitators agreeing ‘that the modules would deliver increased capacity to understand and implement inclusive behaviours/ inclusive leadership to most participants’. The modules would, as one participant commented, ‘go a long way towards reinforcing thinking in the right direction’.
The workshops will be rolled out in the coming year within several Navy leadership programs.
Australia and New Zealand Police Anti-racism & Cultural Diversity Principles
The Commission worked with the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) to develop anti-racism and cultural diversity principles and training guidelines for police. The Commission was very interested in supporting implementation of these principles and guidelines as it has consistently raised police training on anti-racism and diversity as an important issue over several decades, including in HREOC’s National Inquiry into Racist Violence (1991).
In March 2018, the then Race Discrimination Commissioner addressed the Police Commissioners’ Forum (ANZPCF) in Hobart. The Forum—which includes all federal, state and territory police commissioners—agreed to develop principles as well as guidelines on anti-racism and cultural diversity training for police. On the direction of the commissioners, this was to be coordinated through ANZPAA. ANZPAA agreed to deliver two projects:
- ‘Anti-Racism Principles’
- ‘Education and Training Guidelines’ relating to anti-racism.
These projects were undertaken consecutively, with the first taking place from July–October 2018. The Commission provided expert advice and assistance to ANZPAA on human rights, anti-racism and cultural diversity over the course of the projects.
The aim of the Principles is to support police engagement with racially and culturally diverse communities in Australia and New Zealand (to view the Principles visit the ANZPAA website).
The Education and Training Guidelines have been settled and progressed through the ANZPAA Training and Education Advisory Group and the ANZPAA Police Profession Network. They will be provided to the Australia New Zealand Council of the Police Profession for approval in July 2019.