Modern Slavery

Female factory worker

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation where a person cannot refuse or leave, because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception. Modern slavery includes:

  • Debt bondage
  • Deceptive recruiting for labour/services
  • Forced labour
  • Servitude
  • Trafficking in persons
  • Child labour
  • Slavery or slavery-like conditions

According to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, 40.3 million people are enslaved in the world today, with the highest number in the Asia Pacific region. Of those people trapped in slavery in the Asia Pacific region, 70% are women and girls.

Although modern slavery is illegal everywhere, millions of people continue to be trapped in factories, fields, fisheries and mines. People become trapped in modern slavery by poverty, vulnerability, corruption and systems that create the conditions and opportunities for it to exist.

Modern slavery is not the same as exploitation such as poor working conditions or low pay, although such conditions often underpin and are foundational to (or precursors of) modern slavery.

Criminals use deceptive means to hold captive their workforce and exploit their labour. Children and vulnerable workers are targeted, using control tactics such as charging extortionate recruitment fees, threatening deportation, retaining passports and withholding wages.

What are Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria doing?

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and its agencies are committed to a programme directed towards eradicating modern slavery and human trafficking, through practical measures such as anti-slavery supply chain strategies and procurement, as well as anti-slavery education and engagement initiatives.

For further information please go to The Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN) website: https://www.acan.org.au/