An overview of RMIT’s commitments and actions to address the potential risk of modern slavery across the RMIT Group.
The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (the Act) has established Australia’s national modern slavery reporting requirement.
‘Modern slavery’ describes situations where coercion, threats or deception are used to exploit victims and undermine or deprive them of their freedom. The Act defines modern slavery as including eight types of serious exploitation: trafficking in persons, slavery, servitude, forced marriage, forced labour, debt bondage, deceptive recruiting for labour or services, and the worst forms of child labour.
It is important to emphasise that modern slavery is only used to describe serious exploitation that involves the loss of freedom.
Modern slavery does not include practices like substandard working conditions or underpayment of workers. However, these practices are also illegal, harmful, and may be present in some situations of modern slavery.
At RMIT we are committed to identifying and addressing modern slavery risk across our own operations and contributing to global efforts where its presence may be obscured in supply chains. We are a values-led University, focused on making a positive contribution within the local and global communities where we operate, so this is fundamental.
We take modern slavery risk seriously and acknowledge our responsibility to play our part toward its long-term eradication. As a global tertiary education institution, we also have a unique opportunity to make a difference through our research and innovation capabilities. As a result, it is incumbent on us to use our expertise and influence to educate and inform on human rights issues across business more broadly.
In responding to our reporting obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) (the Act), RMIT publishes an annual statements:
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Modern slavery clauses have already been embedded into relevant policies, contracts and procurement processes, for example:
The RMIT Sustainability Policy states:
The RMIT Procurement Policy states:
RMIT is committed to the triple bottom line approach regarding environmental, social and financial sustainability. All procurement decisions will take account of RMIT’s responsibilities and obligations regarding labour and human rights principles, including the risk of modern slavery in supply chains.
The RMIT Supplier Code of Conduct states:
Suppliers must have adequate and reasonable policies, controls, procedures and training designed to prevent, detect, assess, manage and remedy adverse human rights impacts or human rights breaches in their operations and supply chains.
Suppliers are expected to commit to due diligence activities to identify, prevent and mitigate modern slavery risk.
For more visit our sustainable procurement page.
The Business and Human Rights Centre (BHRIGHT), located in RMIT’s College of Business and Law, addresses the human rights impact of business through research, education, innovation and collaboration. BHRIGHT is the first centre for business and human rights in Australia, running masterclasses, consultancies and design labs to generate and share innovation and train current and future leaders to develop and integrate human rights standards in their respective industry contexts.
BHRIGHT proactively participates in law reform and public policy debates and conducts empirical studies to build evidence of human rights and business impact. This amplifies the voices of affected communities and workers through a range of conceptual frameworks and methods to develop solutions for a future that is fairer, more equitable and sustainable.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.