Modern Slavery

Western Sydney University respects the dignity, wellbeing, and human rights of its employees, workers in its supply chains, and the communities in which the University operates or from which it sources products and services.

As such, the University is extremely supportive of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), which aims to protect human rights by requiring entities, such as the University, to identify and address any modern slavery risks in its business and supply chains. The University has published its actions and areas of focus in regards to combatting modern slavery in its annual Modern Slavery Statement, which has been submitted to the Australian Government’s Modern Slavery Register. This is a year-on-year activity.

The term “modern slavery” is used to describe situations of serious exploitation 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:

  1. trafficking in persons;
  2. slavery;
  3. servitude;
  4. forced marriage;
  5. forced labour;
  6. debt bondage;
  7. deceptive recruiting for labour or services; and
  8. the worst forms of child labour, meaning situations where children are subjected to slavery or similar practices, or engaged in hazardous work.

The Australian Government acknowledges that modern slavery is a term used to describe serious exploitation. The term does not include practices like substandard working conditions or underpayment of workers, which is governed by the Fair Work Ombudsman, although these practices are also harmful and may be present in some situations of modern slavery.

To report any suspicion of, risks of, or actual modern slavery practices in the University’s operations and/or its supply chains, please refer to the University’s Whistleblower (Reporting Corruption and Other Wrongdoing) webpage to make a report.

If University staff receive communication and/or activities to undertake from other entities who consider the University as a supplier for the purposes of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), please contact the Compliance Program Unit and/or the Office of Procurement Services. This guide of “Risk questionnaire general answers for external entities who view Western Sydney University as a supplier” may be used to pre-fill some frequently asked questions on questionnaires.