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New paper released to combat Modern Slavery

31 March 2022

The Australian Banking Association has today released its first edition working paper on Modern Slavery, bringing together member banks’ knowledge of modern slavery practices in Australia.

Developed in collaboration with KPMG Australia, the first edition working paper focuses on the construction and agriculture sectors and seeks to provide a point of reference for banks to operationalise modern slavery risk identification and management.

Anna Bligh, Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Banking Association, said there is no place for modern slavery in Australia or around the world and our member banks will do whatever they can to help combat these serious crimes.

“At the core of modern slavery is a desire by one or more people to exploit the freedom of others for personal financial gain. There is no room for such abhorrent practices in our modern world,”

ABA CEO Anna Bligh

“The banking sector will do its part in helping to identify potential cases of such gross violations of human rights.

“Banks have come together to share knowledge and to develop a common understanding of the face of modern slavery in Australia. This document is the outcome of that shared knowledge and a starting point for future collaborations.”

The working paper is a result of the establishment of a Modern Slavery Working Group formed three years ago by the ABA, which has explored how modern slavery exists in sectors in Australia and how banks can best assist law enforcement to put an end to the serious crimes.

Understanding who may be involved in modern slavery allows Australian banks to explore the different characteristics of its customers, suppliers, and business relationships.

The remit of the Modern Slavery Working Group has now expanded to Human Rights, as a recognition that the banking system can be used for nefarious purposes.

The ABA intends to develop additional modern slavery working papers, which will further explore sectors that are funded by Australian banks.


Working Paper: Modern Slavery Edition 1 March 2022


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