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31 Jul 2022

Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia Pacific

Investors Against Slavery and Trafficking Asia Pacific's (IAST APAC) first report highlights call for companies to go beyond the minimum requirement of the Australian Modern Slavery Act

"Footsteps forward", 2021-2022

Workstream 1: Policy advocacy

The first activity of Workstream 1 of the IAST APAC initiative was to draft and distribute an investor statement signed by many of the members.

This investor statement called for companies reporting under the Australian Modern Slavery Act (the Modern Slavery Act or Act) to go above and beyond the bare minimum of legal compliance set out in the Act. The investor statement outlined the investor interest in impacts of modern slavery and suggested a number of measures for companies to adopt as good practice to mitigate their modern slavery related risks.

Workstream 2: Company engagement

Workstream 2 was established in January 2021 to support the work of Workstream 1. Its purpose is to enable investors to work collaboratively towards a common goal of mitigating modern slavery risks in investee companies across the Asia-Pacific region.

Workstream 2 invites investors to nominate as either a lead or support investor. Each investor group is allocated a focus company and all investors play an active role in engaging directly with the focus company. Due to the complexity of issues related to human rights in the supply chain, it is anticipated that this will be a multi-year initiative. During FY 21/22, we engaged with 24 focus companies across the consumer discretionary, consumer staples, technology and healthcare sectors as part of Workstream 2. Companies are listed on the following exchanges: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam.