Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia
In early 2017 the Australian Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (Committee) launched an inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference included exploring whether Australia should mandate reporting by Australian businesses on their management of modern slavery risks in their own business and supply chains similar to the United Kingdom’s Modern Slavery Act. Rio Tinto welcomed the opportunity to be part of this discussion and made a formal submission to the Inquiry.
Rio Tinto’s commitment to preventing and addressing any involvement in modern slavery is consistent with the principles outlined in the MSA. Given our size and geographical reach, the challenge of ensuring we avoid any involvement in modern slavery is significant, but we are committed to continuing to evolve our approach to meet developing risks. We recognise that modern slavery is a human rights issue, and we also explore its links to other risks like corruption.
Our Slavery and human trafficking statement describes the steps we took in 2016 to ensure that slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in any part of our business, or in any of our supply chains.
In this statement, we present the policies and standards that contribute to our control framework to respect human rights and reject modern slavery. We outline our due diligence processes, including our “Know your supplier” procedure, which helps identify the potential legal, ethical and reputational risks of engaging or renewing a supplier. We provide examples of how we assess and mitigate modern slavery risks, how we track our performance, and how we raise awareness and build capacity around these issues.