Ranked 2nd Overall in the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark 2019
Modern slavery is a very real risk globally, including in developed markets. We know that we face a risk of involvement in modern slavery through our value chain, including through our suppliers.
Freedom from slavery is a human right and we incorporate our work on preventing and addressing any involvement in modern slavery into our broader human rights programme.
Preventing our Involvement in Modern Slavery
Preventing and addressing our own involvement in modern slavery is central to our sustainability approach including our commitment to running a safe, responsible and profitable business.
We set clear expectations that Rio Tinto employees and suppliers should be alert to possible involvement in modern slavery and should work to prevent and address it.
We know that adopting high standards is not enough. Knowledge sharing, such as targeted training programmes for employees, and action, including mitigation measures where we see a risk of involvement, are vital to ensure our work stays effective.
We work with governments and other organisations to contribute to more consistent, robust policy and regulatory initiatives around the world.
Our Statement on Modern Slavery
We publish an annual statement on modern slavery, which complies with the UK Modern Slavery Act and, from 2020, will comply with the Australian Modern Slavery Act.
In our statement, we outline the policies, standards and processes that contribute to our control framework to respect human rights and help protect against our involvement in modern slavery. We also explain how we assess and mitigate modern slavery risks, how we track our performance, how we collaborate with stakeholders and how we build capacity around these issues.
Advocacy for Australian Modern Slavery Act
We have also encouraged government efforts, especially in countries in which we have a footprint, to help business prevent and address their involvement in modern slavery.
In 2018, we were proud to support the Australian Modern Slavery Act, publicly endorsing the introduction of the draft legislation as well as its final passage by the Australian Parliament.
Our support included signing a multi-stakeholder letter to the Prime Minister, alongside several leading civil society organisations, investors and business associations, calling for the bill to pass without delay.
We also hosted the first meeting, and are a member, of the Global Compact Network Australia’s business led Modern Slavery Community of Practice, which helps Australian businesses share learning and progress implementation of the Australian Modern Slavery Act and broader modern slavery risk management.