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Salvos Legal introduces a new practice specialisation aimed at ending modern slavery

Salvos Legal introduces a new practice specialisation aimed at ending modern slavery

Salvos Legal introduces a new practice specialisation aimed at ending modern slavery

16 August 2017

Salvos Legal has introduced two new initiatives to help identify, respond to, and combat the global crime of human trafficking.

By Darryl Annett

You may have seen in the news the shocking story out of England about the 11 members of the Rooney family who used “modern slavery” to support their lavish lifestyle. Modern slavery and the associated evil of human trafficking has been highlighted in a recent report from the National Crime Authority (England) and by the United Nations. In Australia we are proposing a new Modern Slavery Act.

In this context, I am very proud to advise that we at Salvos Legal have taken two important initiatives to counter this morally corrupt and evil practice that should have ceased long ago. Firstly, Salvos Legal has introduced a new “Supply Chain Audit and Ending Modern Slavery” practice specialisation that sits across the humanitarian and commercial teams.

In addition, Salvos Legal has agreed to form a strategic partnership with The Salvation Army’s Freedom Partnership – to end Modern Slavery, to formally recognise our joint efforts to assist victims of human trafficking, modern slavery and slavery-like practices.

The Freedom Partnership is a national movement to ensure Australians do not contribute to the global problem of slavery and that people are not enslaved in Australia.

Led by Jenny Stanger, National Manager, the Freedom Partnership:

. Support survivors of slavery in Australia;
· Mobilises communities to effectively identify and respond to modern slavery;
· Engages with government, business, corporations and consumers to uncover, mitigate and remediate slavery in production supply chains;
· Partners with local, state and territory governments to develop and implement localised responses;
· Empowers survivor advocates to contribute their expertise.

Over the years, Salvos Legal has worked with the Freedom Partnership to achieve significant outcomes for victims of human trafficking, modern slavery and slavery-like practices. Two years ago, in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the firm achieved the biggest judgment in Australian legal history for an Ethiopian-born domestic worker “Jane Doe” who had suffered years of slavery-like practices at the hands of her diplomatic ex-employers (https://jade.io/article/385210).

Our humanitarian team has worked closely with the Freedom Partnership to assist many victims of modern slavery with their migration, criminal and civil claims. Our commercial team also regularly produces work for the Freedom Partnership – for example, we recently helped to prepare a detailed submission in response to the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade’s “Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act”.

Our new “Supply Chain Audit and Ending Modern Slavery” practice specialisation will conduct research on strategies to abolish human trafficking, modern slavery and slavery-like practices in Australia. This will likely include preparing further submissions and policy documents relating to Australia’s proposed Modern Slavery Act.

On the commercial side, Salvos Legal can be engaged by companies for “supply chain audits”. The purpose of the audit is to identify whether there are any slavery-like practices occurring within the client’s supply chain, for example in any of the company’s or its contractors’ overseas factories. We have begun our first engagement in this area, undertaking an audit for a major Australian aged-care provider.

The new practice group will be based in our Sydney office, in part because the Freedom Partnership has their headquarters in Sydney where they operate Australia’s only Trafficking and Slavery Safe House for women who have experienced trafficking and slavery. However, the team will deal with cases, clients and issues Australia-wide, drawing on our full service footprint.

For more information, or to engage the services of Salvos Legal to conduct a supply chain audit, contact Luke Geary at our Sydney office on 02 8202 1555.

Darryl is a partner at Salvos Legal, based in Melbourne.

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