Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN): end of year wrap

The Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN) is doing some great work in the community and they have just wrapped up the year with an update about their work.

ACAN participating entities are united in the belief that action against modern slavery is fundamental Catholic Social Teaching.

Pope Francis has called modern slavery and human trafficking “an open wound on … contemporary society, a scourge upon the body of Christ” and “a crime against humanity.” He has pledged with other global religious leaders to rid the world of this affront to human dignity and human freedom.

The Catholic Church has a history of anti-slavery action from working to end Transatlantic slavery to supporting people impacted by modern slavery and by tackling its root causes and systemic drivers.

Catholic anti-slavery initiatives are delivered across the world every day by clergy, lay Catholics, parishes and large organisations such as Caritas, the International Catholic Migration Commission and the Order of Malta. Modern slavery and human trafficking are a priority at The Vatican as evidenced by the Santa Marta Group and Pope Francis’ regular engagement on the issue via his videos.

To date, ACAN has 47 Catholic entities of all shapes and sizes participating as voluntary and mandatory reporting entities or to advance anti-slavery efforts in other ways. OzCare (QLD), Dominican Education Australia, Mercy Care (WA) and the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) are examples of the variety of organisations that have recently signed on as participating entities. Click here to learn more about  ACAN participation.

As the 2021 reporting period comes to a close supplier engagement continues across the network’s key risk areas: medical supplies, construction and information and communications technology (ICT). ACAN reports that they have had fantastic onboarding support from Alex Walrut and his team at the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange platform – SEDEX. ACAN staff across the country are also racing to complete modern slavery e-learning to ensure metrics can be included in 2021 data.

ACAN is now looking ahead to completion of a second round of modern slavery statements by 30 June 2022 and the opportunity to contribute to the Modern Slavery Act Review next year. The Anti-slavery Taskforce team that facilitates ACAN, has congratulated all of the ACAN Modern Slavery Liaison Officers (MSLOs) and their Modern Slavery Working Groups on a productive year.

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