Eradicating Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking

Impact of modern slavery

ACU’s strong commitment and approach to anti modern slavery measures acknowledges the indivisible link between social, economic and environmental sustainability, and our university’s future.

We prioritise these important areas not only because they are deeply embedded in our Catholic mission to honour the dignity of each being and to care for our common home, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

As a Catholic university, we uphold our obligation to the communities we serve, including our students, by leaving things in a better position than how we found them. For this reason, we are dedicated to upholding the dignity of every individual and community with any connection to the university’s supply chain.

Our commitment and vision

The ACU Modern Slavery Statement 2022 commits us to consolidate the actions commenced in 2020 and 2021, and to continue to work with associated entities, industry groups and specialist anti-slavery service providers to help understand and remediate slavery activities in global supply chains where they impact the operations of ACU.

In addition to fulfilling our obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth), ACU is also committed to training staff on modern slavery vulnerabilities and activities.

ACU AMS Modern Slavery Statement (PDF, 8MB)

What is modern slavery?

Modern slavery refers to situations of exploitation where a person cannot refuse or leave, because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception, according to the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network.

Modern slavery is a non-legal umbrella term that includes:

  • trafficking in persons
  • the worst forms of child labour
  • slavery or slavery-like conditions
  • debt bondage
  • deceptive recruiting for labour or services
  • forced labour
  • servitude.

Continuous education

ACU continues to use training modules developed with the Australian Catholic Anti-Slavery Network (ACAN) to educate all those who make purchasing and procurement decisions across the university on the broad requirements of anti-slavery measures and activities. We also make these modules available for all vendors and suppliers who deal with ACU.

Domus Links: Modern Anti-slavery Training for the Future Workforce

In 2021, ACU activated a scholarship project in partnership with the Anti-Slavery Taskforce of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney. Anti-Slavery Taskforce is committed to increasing awareness of modern slavery across professional sectors, especially the education, health and social work sectors.

The project, Domus Links: Modern Anti-slavery Training for the Future Workforce, introduces the topic of modern slavery to young people before they embark on their professional journeys. Through the production of training resources, it enables future professionals to identify and respond to modern slavery in the workforce.

Saint Josephine Bakhita

We also draw inspiration from the patron saint of our Saint Josephine Bakhita Campus in Blacktown, the patron saint of Sudan and victims of modern slavery and human trafficking, as we work to address the injustices inflicted upon the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Saint Josephine Bakhita herself was sold into slavery as a child.

“Every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act.” Laudato Si’ (LS 206)

Pope Francis
Laudato Si’ (LS 206)

“As a Catholic university, ACU is not only committed to the pursuit of knowledge and academic excellence, but guided and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, we recognise the dignity of each person and look for ways to work for the common good. We all have a part to play in honouring the inherent dignity of each human being, and this includes acting to ensure fair treatment, decent working conditions for all people and working to minimise the impact of modern slavery in our communities.”

Professor Zlatko Skrbis
Vice-Chancellor and President of Australian Catholic University

Other Resources

Research Centre for Refugees Migration and Humanitarian Studies

ACU’s Research Centre for Refugees Migration and Humanitarian Studies explores the historical and contemporary displacement of refugees across the world as well as government policy on refugees and humanitarian agencies.

Learn more

Anti-Slavery Network

The Australian Catholic Anti-slavery Network is a world-first Australia-wide Catholic collaboration to eradicate modern slavery from the operations and supply chains of Catholic entities who are required to report under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth).

Learn more

Domus 8.7

Domus8.7 is an agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney founded by The Most Rev Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP.

Learn more

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