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Johannesburg, 10 October 2019: Ten Australian mining, energy and resource companies, including Gold Fields, have joined together to develop a practical toolkit to pre-screen for modern slavery risks within supply chains.
Central to the toolkit is a self-assessment questionnaire (SAQ) with 18 core questions that the group have agreed to ask suppliers to identify modern slavery risks, improve transparency and identify areas for further due diligence.
This initiative recognises that suppliers are facing growing information requests due to modern slavery laws in Australia and the United Kingdom. By asking a common set of questions, this will streamline reporting, provide consistency and clarity.
'This is an important human rights initiative for Gold Fields in Australia. Modern slavery is an issue in many countries around the world and through this initiative we want to ensure that our suppliers are aware of and address any potential risks in our supply chain,' says Stuart Mathews, Executive Vice-President Gold Fields Australasia Region.
Australia's Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Jason Wood, welcomed the initiative: 'It is vital that large businesses work collaboratively with their business partners and suppliers to combat modern slavery. This innovative industry approach is an important step towards eradicating modern slavery from our supply chains,' he said.
Walk Free, a global initiative of the Minderoo Foundation aimed at ending modern slavery in this generation, has coordinated the efforts of industry in finalising the toolkit. It estimates that modern slavery affects over 40 million people globally.
Walk Free Chief Executive Officer, Jenn Morris said: 'We commend the design of this open source document that supports the mandatory reporting requirements of the Australian Modern Slavery Act. This approach reduces the administration of monitoring yet increases the efficiency and effectiveness of driving better outcomes in identifying the risks of modern slavery.'
By working together, the group aims to help end modern slavery and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8 to 'promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all'.
The Supplier Toolkit, which is available on the Gold Fields website at https://www.goldfields.com/download-section.php, includes:
Participating companies in the initiative are:
The initiative excludes collaboration relating to supplier selection, which continues to rely on the decision of individual companies.