Recipients of the 2017 Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Awards were celebrated at the ceremony held at the University of Technology Sydney on Wednesday 08 November.
Guests gathered at the ceremony on Wednesday evening to celebrate the outstanding work and contributions of individuals and organisations for initiatives against human trafficking, slavery and slavery-like practices.
First convened in 2011, Freedom Awards have been given to anti-slavery and human rights advocates from civil society, faith based groups, government and academia. Now in their fifth year, these biennial awards raise awareness of all forms of slavery and human trafficking and promote the positive difference that individuals and organisations can make to the lives of trafficked and enslaved people. The prevention of slavery requires many organisations to work together and the Freedom Awards recognise the diverse activities of many who share the mission to abolish human trafficking and slavery.
Anti-Slavery Australia was honoured to have Fiona McLeod SC, President of the Law Council of Australia deliver a thought-provoking keynote address. Ms McLeod practises at the Victorian Bar, appearing in trials and appeals in public law, human rights, commercial, constitutional and common law matters. Ms McLeod has been steadfast in her commitment to human rights and the protection of the most marginalised in our community. Among her many achievements, Ms McLeod has been recognised with numerous awards for excellence and leadership, for her work in supporting diversity and equality and her work in pro bono and human rights matters including human trafficking.
We sincerely congratulate all nominees and announce the following individuals and organisations as the 2017 Freedom Award and Anti-Slavery Award Recipients.
Dr Kathy Landvogt, Safeguarding Lead, Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand received a Freedom Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to research and advocacy in the area of forced marriage.
Kathy is a community-based policy researcher and until recently headed the Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand’s Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy Centre, overseeing research on forced marriage.
Kathy’s research, policy, advocacy and leadership has contributed significantly to improved understandings of forced marriage, has informed legislative review and raised the profile of forced marriage in Australia and internationally.
Kathy also oversaw the research project which resulted in the widely referenced and authoritative report The Right to Refuse: Examining Forced Marriage in Australia. This resource is one of two key Australian sources on the topic of forced marriage in the National Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book.
Kate van Doore, Griffith University Law School and co-founder Forget Me Not Australia received a Freedom Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to research and advocacy in the area of orphanage trafficking.
Kate van Doore is an international children’s rights lawyer and an academic at Griffith University Law School. Kate researches the intersections between human trafficking, international law and practice. Kate is particularly concerned with vulnerable children’s rights and is an internationally recognised as an expert on orphanage trafficking. Kate has researched and presented widely, domestically and internationally, on the trafficking of children into orphanages for the purpose of exploitation and profit. Kate continues to work to eradicate the unnecessary institutionalisation of children and orphanage tourism.
Kate is the co-founder of Forget Me Not Australia and the Born to Belong Foundation; international NGOs committed to reunifying institutionalised children with their families, keeping families together and keeping children out of orphanages. Kate is also a member of Better Volunteering, the Better Care Global Working Group and a founding Steering Committee member of ReThink Orphanages.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia Pty Ltd received a Freedom Award in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the field of ethical sourcing and human rights.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Australia has demonstrated outstanding business leadership and effort in the field of ethical sourcing and human rights.
Two years ago through the leadership of Dr David Cooke Managing Director, Konica Minolta began reviewing their ethical sourcing footprint to better understand where goods and services in their supply chain were made. As a result they created their ethical sourcing roadmap and through the work of their Ethical Sourcing Manager, Laura McManus, Konica Minolta developed a framework to bring global good practices to the local value chain.
Konica Minolta has drawn on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and developed a comprehensive approach to human rights and business including launching a human rights position statement, mapping its supply chains against modern slavery risk, and training key personal on these risks.
Konica Minolta Australia has shown exemplary leadership in reviewing its own operations and supply chains and setting an example for other businesses.
The Award was received by David Cooke, Managing Director and Laura McManus, Ethical Sourcing Manager.
STOP THE TRAFFIK Australia received a Freedom Award in recognition of campaigning excellence to prevent modern slavery.
Stop The Traffik Australia is a coalition of 30 organisations working collectively to address and prevent human trafficking and slavery. They educate consumers about trafficking and its connection to global supply chains. One important initiative is the Good Egg Guide, produced before Easter, to encourage consumers to buy traffik-free Easter eggs. In 2017, over 30,000 people visited the interactive website to inform their chocolate purchases.
Stop the Traffik works with business to increase transparency in supply chains and their advocacy has led to major chocolate companies, and Australian retail groups introducing plans for making their chocolate traffik-free.
With the recent Inquiry into a potential Australian Modern Slavery Act, they have created a website to raise awareness about proposed transparency in supply chain legislation and provide information about how to contact politicians.
The Award was be received by Carolyn Kitto, Co-National Director of STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalition.
Norton Rose Fulbright received the Anti-Slavery Australia Award in recognition of an outstanding research contribution to the prevention of modern slavery.
Online child exploitation increased over 400% between 2013 and 2015, with the Australian Federal Police receiving 11,000 referrals in 2015 alone. Despite these alarming statistics, Australia lacks a coordinated legal response.
A pro bono team at Norton Rose Fulbright provided invaluable research assistance to on the project that culminated in the release of Anti-Slavery Australia’s report Behind the Screen: Online Child Exploitation in Australia. This report is a first of its kind and provides a comprehensive summary of Australia’s response to the issue of online child exploitation by combining data and statistics previously unavailable to the public; interviews with representatives of leading law enforcement and non-government agencies; and extensive research.
The Norton Rose Fulbright NRF team’s assistance included secondees, as well as an internal team of 23 lawyers led by Gemma Livingstone, who reviewed the legislative framework; prosecution statistics and trends; and examined policy, case reports and legislation.
The Award was presented by Sally Treeby, Rainbow Fish Foundation and received by Jackie O’Brien, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright.
The Anti-Slavery Australia Award for UTS Law Student Contribution recognised the students who served Anti-Slavery Australia through the 2017 Allens Neota UTS Law Tech Challenge for Social Justice.
In this initiative, students in the Faculty’s Brennan Justice and Leadership program and staff from the law firm Allens built law apps using Neota Logic artificial intelligence software to increase access to justice. Two student teams built apps for Anti-Slavery Australia. The ‘Electric Sheep’ team built an interactive resource that answers questions about human trafficking and exploitation and the other team, MLTEC, developed an online resource to help identify and support those in forced marriages.