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Supporting the vulnerable against modern slavery

Coronavirus has posed new challenges to the millions of people already vulnerable to modern slavery, human trafficking and labour exploitation – but there’s something we can do.

In addition to supporting the Investor Statement on Coronavirus Response and the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Colonial First State Investments team is proud to support a new initiative: the Investor Statement on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Issues.

What is it?

The Investor Statement on Modern Slavery, Human Trafficking and Labour Exploitation Issues represents a coalition of investors calling on companies to take real action against modern slavery, labour exploitation and human trafficking. These issues are sadly prevalent even in the twenty-first century, and can involve anything from weak regulatory environments and illegal activities such as forced labour or slavery, to supply chains and business models that rely on underpaid workers.

Why is it important?

Even before the pandemic, there were more than 40 million people estimated to be experiencing issues like modern slavery worldwide. But due to Coronavirus, various industries across the world are facing additional challenges that are likely to increase the number of vulnerable individuals.

What do we want to achieve?

We believe supporting the statement’s proposed action items can help encourage companies to:

 

  • undertake detailed risk-based mapping exercises of supply chains to gain more visibility, progressively expanding their analysis beyond first-tier suppliers
 
  • actively engage internal and external stakeholders when developing modern slavery, human trafficking and labour exploitation policies and due diligence processes to mitigate risks
 
  • consolidate supply chains by simplifying and sourcing more from fewer suppliers
 
  • reward and incentivise suppliers for complying with responsible sourcing policies and monitoring conditions across supply chain tiers by building strong working relationships
 
  • price goods and services in a way that a living wage could possibly be achieved 
 
  • develop remedy and grievance mechanisms accessible for workers at supplier level.

Looking ahead

When it comes to being a responsible investor, it’s important to be conscious of the world around us. Scott Tully, General Manager of Investments, says, “We believe that good investment management of the environmental, social and governance risks of investing can have a positive impact – not only on the world around us, but also on long-term investment performance and, in turn, the long-term financial returns of our members.“

 

 

Looking ahead, Colonial First State will continue working towards supporting initiatives that aim to have a positive impact and will keep members up to date on the latest developments. More information about our approach to responsible investing and the responsible investment beliefs that underpin Colonial First State’s investment process can be found on our website.

Disclaimer
Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (CFSIL) is the issuer of the FirstChoice range of super and pension products from the Colonial First State FirstChoice Superannuation Trust ABN 26 458 298 557. CFSIL also issues interests in products made available under FirstChoice Investments and FirstChoice Wholesale Investments. This document may include general advice but does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. The Target Market Determinations (TMD) for our financial products can be found at www.cfs.com.au/tmd and include a description of who a financial product is appropriate for. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) carefully, assess whether the information is appropriate for you, and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. The PDS and FSG can be obtained from www.cfs.com.au or by calling us on 13 13 36.