Mining mogul billionaire Andrew Forrest has categorized Australian workers as slaves due to the work the nation makes them do forcefully.
Forrest’s foundation published the 2016 Global Slavery Index report on Tuesday that listed nations all across the globe that promotes slavery in the guise of work. He has called for the abolishment of slavery around the world by calling on governments to frame legislations that could put an end to forced labor practices. The report revealed that around 45.8 million people from all over the world are suffering from forced labor issues. Among them, 4,300 modern slaves belong to Australia.
Forrest claimed that forced labor is evident in Australia from the food processing industry to a clothes supply chain to prostitution. He also restricted his statement to a reason. “Slavery is allowed to persist in Australia because people think it doesn’t happen,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him as saying. “When we walk into a clothes shop we don’t ask, ‘Where did this material come from? How was it manufactured? Are you sure there was no forced labor in the supply chain?’ These are not questions we ever ask. We succumb to indifference,” he said.
“All I’m asking is that consumers recognize that forced labor is a very serious issue in the supply chains of the clothes and the food they take for granted.”
To the claims made by Forrest, his Australian-based NGO Walk Free Foundation’s research head Fiona David responded. She said that the influx of migrants throughout the Middle East and Europe has prompted the increasing issues of trafficking.”The first thing to note is that modern slavery is not always of migrants, we have seen here in the UK some of the highest profile slavery cases have involved enslavement of British people or commercial exploitation of children who are themselves British,” she said as quoted by the Belfast Telegraph.
“But of course, people moving in highly distressed situations have many risk factors. It is too early to say yet whether that is impacting on our estimates, I think we will see the results of that flowing through into the next global slavery index.”