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VIDEO | Modern Slavery and Migrant Workers in Australia

Chris Caskey | August 15, 2023

As part of the UN Global Compact Network Australia’s Modern Slavery Impact Initiative (MSII), we are releasing a series of short Bite-sized Learning videos unpacking key modern slavery risk issues and topics for Australian businesses.

In our eighth episode, Manager, Human Rights at the UN Global Compact Network Australia, Chris Caskey, spoke to Bassina Farbenblum, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW and Laurie Berg, Associate Professor, UTS Faculty of Law, both co-Executive Director’s of the Migrant Justice Institute (MJI).

In this episode, the MJI team discuss the nature of the migrant worker landscape in Australia and explore different types of exploitation that have been reported through worker surveys. The MJI also unpack reasons why migrant workers may be reluctant to speak up about different types of labour exploitation, with recent survey results indicating that only one in ten reported their experience. Finally, the MJI team discuss ways that both Government and the private sector can look to design safeguards that can build trust with workers.

In 2021, there were an estimated 49.6 million people living in conditions of modern slavery worldwide, with increasing prevalence in the Asia Pacific. As modern slavery remains a key human rights risk for Australian businesses, this video aims to raise awareness and support businesses in Australia in understanding the imperative to identify, manage and mitigate their modern slavery related risks.

This content was funded by the Australian Government through the National Community Crime Prevention Program: Modern Slavery Grant opportunity. The views expressed in this video are the author’s alone and are not necessarily the views of the Australian Government.

Resources mentioned in this video include:

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Chris Caskey

Chris is a human rights professional with experience in human rights law, business and human rights, modern slavery, and regulatory risk advisory. At the UNGCNA, Chris co-leads our Human Rights workstream, manages the delivery of our Modern Slavery Impact Initiative and leads the UNGCNA engagement with the Dhawura Ngilan Business & Investor Initiative.