While the legal ownership of people has been outlawed globally since 1981, slavery has not gone away. Many different forms of coerced or forced labour and exploitation still exist today, with the problem only getting worse.
Over 27 million people are estimated to be caught in forced labour, with 42% of those being female, and 1 in 8 being children. It spans countless industries and is present in most global companies’ supply chains.
In 2018 the Australian government passed the Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018, which mandates all Australian businesses reporting over $100m in revenue to prepare an annual statement addressing the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chain, as well as the steps taken in response to those risks.
The act also required the government to develop an online, public register to house these statements.
Working with the Australian Border Force, GoSource determined the functional requirements of the register and designed a solution to meet them rapidly and effectively.
To ensure interested citizens could easily locate the documents they required, robust text extraction capabilities had to be implemented. GoSource used Apache Tika for this purpose because its optical character recognition feature could handle unexpected submission types.
Further, GoSource utilised existing data provided by the ABR to gather initial metadata on reporting entities, before partnering with an external data analytics company to enhance the accuracy and keep it up to date.
The core of the solution is a standalone custom web application that uses Django to provide the UI and workflow orchestration and is deployed entirely to AWS. It allows entities to upload documents which are published to the public after a vetting process.
All submitted statements had full text search indexing to enable NGO’s and academic institutions to produce reports on the state of modern slavery in Australian business supply chains.
Since release, it has received over 5000 statements from close to 7000 entities located in 48 unique countries. More importantly, almost 1.5 million searches of the register have been performed by the public, ensuring these entities are kept accountable.
- Attorney-General's Department
- Four months
- Architecture, design, and delivery of a searchable public register with support and enhancements following release
- GoSource provided the infrastructure for large companies in Australia to submit statements on modern slavery within their supply chains
- The public now has access to a trove of easily accessible and searchable data regarding the extent of modern slavery in Australian business
- The Attorney-General's Department has an easy-to-use solution requiring no integration with existing infrastructure