We want freedom for everyone, everywhere, always. We are taking modern slavery risks seriously and are implementing a university wide approach to address it, part of which is to support our students so they can make informed choices, and access the support and services they need.
Here you can learn more about modern slavery, how to recognise it, the risks as a student, how to access the support you need to prevent it and access our Anti-Slavery awareness training module on Canvas. You can also find out about other opportunities to take meaningful action against it.
Modern slavery is a serious violation of an individual’s dignity and human rights. Exploitative practices, including human trafficking, slavery, servitude, forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage, are all considered modern slavery and are serious crimes under Australian law.
It occurs in every country in the world including Australia. The International Labour Organisation estimates there are more than 40 million people in modern slavery conditions worldwide, with up to 15,000 people estimated to be living in conditions of modern slavery in Australia.
Modern slavery is only used to describe serious exploitation. It does not include practices like substandard working conditions or underpayment of workers. However, these practices are also illegal and harmful and may be indicators of modern slavery.
As a higher education institution dedicated to the education and empowerment of future generations, addressing modern slavery goes to the moral heart of what we stand for as an institution.
Our vision at the University of Sydney is for each and every one of us to play a part, whether it’s through our world-leading research, our education offerings, or by striving for an ethical supply chain in our operations, we are committed to protecting human rights and contributing to the global effort to eradicate modern slavery. Together we are well placed to have a collective and positive impact.
In response to the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2018, the University has established the Modern Slavery Unit, a dedicated expert team aimed at addressing modern slavery as well as driving collaboration and change with key stakeholders.
Our Modern Slavery Statement 2021 provides a detailed account of actions we have taken to identify and address modern slavery risks in our operations and supply chains over the past year. Read more about our university wide approach.
Watch a message below from Professor Stephen Garton AM, Principal Advisor to the Vice-Chancellor, outlining what the University is doing to address modern slavery.
Young people, including students, are at a heightened risk of experiencing modern slavery both in Australia and overseas.
Students are particularly vulnerable to being exploited in the workplace, especially those who have fewer immediate support networks, lower English language proficiency, work in the gig economy, or are unaware of the workforce laws in Australia.
COVID-19 is compounding the likelihood of exploitation in the workplace, for all young people, whether international or domestic.
Worker exploitation can occur in the form of:
Exploitation like this is often an indicator that more perverse practices including slavery may be present. The modern slavery scenarios that students may be at risk of experiencing include:
Due to the covert nature of the crime and low awareness it is estimated that most victims of modern slavery go undetected in Australia. It is important that people are aware that modern slavery exists, that they talk about it and that they know how to recognise the signs.
Here are the main signs according to Anti-Slavery Australia:
Find out more about reporting on alleged incidences of modern slavery.
Everyone working in Australia or planning to work in Australia has rights relating to minimum wages, work conditions and your treatment at work. These include: