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ENDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING — The Sydney Framework: Supply Chains and Sustainable Development Goal 8.7

ENDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING — The Sydney Framework: Supply Chains and Sustainable Development Goal 8.7

Dr. Sandie Mor­gan and Dave Sta­chowiak dis­cuss sup­ply chains and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment with John McCarthy. John is cur­rent­ly the Chair of the Syd­ney Arch­dioce­san Anti­slav­ery Task Force and for­mer Aus­tralian Ambas­sador to the Holy See. Togeth­er, they exam­ine the Syd­ney Frame­work and the impact that com­mu­ni­ties across the world could have on end­ing mod­ern-day slav­ery and forced labor.

Key Points

  • Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goal 8.7 seeks to take imme­di­ate and effec­tive mea­sures to erad­i­cate forced labor, end mod­ern slav­ery and human traf­fick­ing, and secure the pro­hi­bi­tion and elim­i­na­tion of the worst forms of child labor.
  • The pow­er of moral edu­ca­tion and eth­i­cal pur­chase process­es will elim­i­nate the demand for goods and ser­vices taint­ed with slav­ery and forced labor


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Dave: [00:00:00] You’re lis­ten­ing to the End­ing Human Traf­fick­ing pod­cast. This is episode num­ber 195, The Syd­ney Frame­work: Sup­ply Chains and Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goal 8.7.  

Pro­duc­tion Cred­its: [00:00:13] Pro­duced by Inno­vate Learn­ing, max­i­miz­ing human poten­tial.  

Dave: [00:00:34] Wel­come to the End­ing Human Traf­fick­ing pod­cast. My name is Dave Sta­chowiak.  

Sandie: [00:00:39] And my name is Sandie Mor­gan.  

Dave: [00:00:42] And this is the show where we empow­er you to study the issues, be voice, and make dif­fer­ence in end­ing human traf­fick­ing. Sandie, today yet anoth­er expert who has been hard at work and real­ly work­ing in part­ner­ship to end human traf­fick­ing. I’m so excit­ed about this con­ver­sa­tion.  

Sandie[00:01:00] I am too. Why don’t you go ahead and intro­duce our guest?  

Dave: [00:01:03] I am pleased to wel­come to the show today Ambas­sador John McCarthy. John is the chair of the Syd­ney Arch­dioce­san Anti­slav­ery Task Force. He was also Aus­tralian Ambas­sador to the Vat­i­can from 2012 until 2016. Dur­ing his diplo­mat­ic ser­vice at the Holy See, Mr. McCarthy was close­ly involved with human rights issues par­tic­u­lar­ly with the erad­i­ca­tion of mod­ern slav­ery and human traf­fick­ing, a cause which Pope Fran­cis has made a world­wide pri­or­i­ty. Mr. McCarthy was also heav­i­ly engaged in con­fer­ence and con­sul­ta­tions in Rome dur­ing 2015 with respect to the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. Since return­ing to Aus­tralia, he has remained engaged in the anti­slav­ery cause and since May 2017 has been chair of the Syd­ney Arch­dioce­san Anti­slav­ery Task Force. Mr. McCarthy lives in Syd­ney and is mar­ried with six chil­dren and sev­en grand­chil­dren. He was a senior Bar­ris­ter at Queen’s Coun­sel and was briefed in many notable cas­es includ­ing the first recog­ni­tion of Native Title on the Aus­tralian main­land. Ambas­sador, we’re so glad to wel­come you to the End­ing Human Traf­fick­ing Pod­cast.  

John: [00:02:13] Delight­ed to be with you.  

Sandie: [00:02:15] So let’s jump into this con­ver­sa­tion. We had din­ner just few nights ago and was so encour­aged by your hope­ful atti­tude towards how we can use sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals and sup­ply chain trans­paren­cy to end human traf­fick­ing. So, tell us about the Syd­ney frame­work.  

John: [00:02:37] What you have to under­stand about the Arch­dioce­san of Syd­ney is that it is a very big con­cern. It’s a dio­cese not like Los Ange­les where you are, but more like New York, that is a met­ro­pol­i­tan area that has been divid­ed into a num­ber of dio­ce­ses. In Syd­ney, we have 600,000 Catholics. There is a very large Catholic school sys­tem with 70,000 stu­dents who are part of that sys­tem with 8,500 teach­ers in 153 schools. And there is spend in rela­tion to that of about $850,000,000. Most of that mon­ey is spent on wages and salaries for the 8,500 teach­ers, but about 150 to 200 mil­lion is spent on goods and ser­vices in respect of the school sys­tem. Which is a very large sum of mon­ey and includes con­struc­tion costs because they’re always con­struct­ing new schools or ren­o­vat­ing oth­er schools. So there is a large expo­sure by the school sys­tem and oth­er parts of our dio­cese through our wel­fare sys­tem which has about 75 mil­lion dol­lars a year, it’s called Catholic Care and Aged Care facil­i­ties in the arch­dio­cese, that are exposed to goods and ser­vices that we don’t know what their prove­nance often is, that is whether they are taint­ed with slav­ery or with forced labor. Now, this is some­thing that is com­mon across most of the West­ern economies; it’s known to the gov­ern­ments, it’s known to the church­es, it’s known to the cor­po­rate sec­tor. And what the Arch­bish­op of Syd­ney, Arch­bish­op Fish­er, has start­ed as a pro­gram is that the church’s mon­ey is not to be used to buy­ing goods and ser­vices that are taint­ed with slav­ery or forced labor. We’re not going to give mon­ey to crim­i­nals and we want to set up a sys­tem of due dili­gence in our sup­ply chains so that we elim­i­nate such goods and ser­vices, so that we can prop­er­ly say to the world that we’re doing all that we can to try and elim­i­nate forced labor and the kinds of slav­ery from what the church can do some­thing about in a direct way, which is the goods and ser­vices that are pur­chased.  

Sandie: [00:05:17] So, let me inter­ject here. My stu­dents are con­stant­ly talk­ing about sup­ply chain trans­paren­cy and check­ing to see if the prod­ucts that we dri­ve demand for are made by slaves and child forced labor slav­ery. And some­times they feel a lit­tle over­whelmed and ask me if one per­son makes this deci­sion, does it real­ly make a dif­fer­ence. My spend­ing income for the whole year is only $1,500, that’s what a stu­dent says to me. But you’re talk­ing about doing this on a scale where the bud­get is a hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars.  

John: [00:06:00] More.  

Sandie: [00:06:01] More than that, talk about that.  

John: [00:06:04] Well we have a very large school sys­tem and there are bulk orders of uni­forms, of com­put­ers, of school equip­ment, and con­struc­tion mate­ri­als. These aren’t small items; these are large items. There are finance and pro­cure­ment depart­ments, very pro­fes­sion­al qual­i­fied peo­ple are in charge of these sys­tems. We’re not talk­ing about just indi­vid­ual pur­chas­ing; we are talk­ing about insti­tu­tion­al and cor­po­rate group pur­chas­ing. That’s where the large fig­ures start to become obvi­ous. And the sup­pli­ers are not talk­ing about items here and there, they are talk­ing about mil­lions and mil­lions of dol­lars of con­tracts. And in those respects, when we say we want to work and coop­er­ate and have our sup­pli­ers coop­er­ate with us so that we can do due dili­gence with the sup­pli­ers to see that the goods and ser­vices that are sup­plied to us and not taint­ed with slav­ery and not taint­ed with forced labor.  

Sandie: [00:07:15] And I was so impressed when we were talk­ing about this that you brought this down to order­ing box­es of paper. I’m at an aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tion, we use a lot of paper. I nev­er thought about how do you check the sup­ply chain for paper, and how do you do that?  

John: [00:07:33] Well we talk to our sup­pli­ers and we talk to the man­u­fac­tur­ers of the paper; the issue that you’re refer­ring to is this. As well as our sup­ply chains pol­i­cy, that’s the first link in our chain. We also have an eth­i­cal pur­chas­ing pro­gram which is con­cerned with our parish­es, which aren’t big enough. There are 133 parish­es in Syd­ney. They’re not big enough to have sup­ply chains but they’ve got the pres­bytery they’ve got the office, and they’ve got the faith­ful who are part of the parish. And we’ve pro­vid­ed them with way in which they can pur­chase cer­tain line of items that are guar­an­teed to be free of slav­ery and forced labor. We do this through fair trade orga­ni­za­tions and oth­er things. And the church guar­an­tees to its faith­ful that if you buy these goods, they are free of these taints. Now in rela­tion to those sorts of goods, one of those was going to be copy paper, and we had hoped to put copy paper on this list and we talked to those that were going to be the sup­pli­ers in rela­tion to our eth­i­cal pur­chas­ing sys­tem to have the paper checked as to where the pulp came from. We were sat­is­fied that it was only Aus­tralian pulp paper then it would prob­a­bly have been man­u­fac­tured, pro­duced under prop­er wages and con­di­tions in Aus­tralia and we want­ed to know that. But it turned out, that pulp that was used came from Chi­na and came from the sub­con­ti­nent and was mixed with Aus­tralian pulp. And we were not pre­pared to start on the basis that we’d be knocked out in the first day or so the peo­ple were say­ing, “Oh look. You said that we’re going to have, you guar­an­teed these things. We know that this pulp com­ing is asso­ci­at­ed with these papers that come from over­seas. Can you guar­an­tee that that hasn’t been pro­duced with forced labor and so on. Well, the answer was that we couldn’t, so copy paper couldn’t be used in that way.  

Sandie: [00:09:51] So, we have to go deep­er or either we have to go high­er. I’m not exact­ly sure but let’s kind of switch the con­ver­sa­tion to why the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals are such a crit­i­cal part of your agen­da.  

John: [00:10:07] Well all the world agreed to them. In 2015 the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals were unan­i­mous­ly passed by the U.N. by all the mem­ber states of the U.N., that includes the Unit­ed States and Aus­tralia. And every­one agreed on a day on which the Pope, the Holy Father, Fran­cis was at the UN to the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. And they includ­ed 8.7, which makes spe­cif­ic ref­er­ence to the imme­di­ate erad­i­ca­tion of mod­ern slav­ery human traf­fick­ing of the end­ing of child slav­ery by 2025 and all slav­ery by the end of the peri­od for the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals which is 2030. The big thing about this is that this was an inspi­ra­tion of the Pope and what he want­ed was that all the world agreed that this gen­er­a­tion would end mod­ern slav­ery and human traf­fick­ing. And he got all the nations of the world to agree through 8.7 of the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals that this is what the world in all its peo­ples and its gov­ern­ments would aim to do. In oth­er words, you can ask the Unit­ed States gov­ern­ment what their posi­tion is and they’ll tell you that, so will the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment, so will oth­er gov­ern­ments. Some of them may not be as strong about how they’re going to go about this, but every­one agrees. And the sec­ond one was just to put a time on it, I mean what the Pope want­ed the world to agree to is that we’re going to erad­i­cate this huge affront to human dig­ni­ty, these dread­ful cur­tail­ments of free­dom and lib­er­ty that affect about 40 mil­lion peo­ple in the world. Now admit­ted­ly this is the largest num­ber in his­to­ry, but we’ve got the biggest num­ber of peo­ple at the present time, but it is still a very sig­nif­i­cant num­ber. Now in rela­tion to those peo­ple, 16 to 18 mil­lion peo­ple are cal­cu­lat­ed to be involved in sup­ply chains that sup­ply the ordi­nary goods and ser­vices that peo­ple buy in the west­ern world and cor­po­ra­tions and organizations and gov­ern­ments pur­chase. When gov­ern­ments are the biggest pro­duc­ers of goods and ser­vices across the world, and they have a par­tic­u­lar respon­si­bil­i­ty. But as well as that, the Catholic Church has very sig­nif­i­cant insti­tu­tion­al basis across the world and has sup­ply chains also and must do some­thing to bring about a sit­u­a­tion where they are demon­strat­ing that they are doing some­thing about it.  

Sandie: [00:12:59] So some of my stu­dents will be lis­ten­ing to this and I want them to be a lit­tle more on track with SDGs. So, we had the Mil­len­ni­al Devel­op­ment Goals ear­ly.  

John: [00:13:12] Yes, Fri­day nights in 2015.  

Sandie: [00:13:14] Right, so many of us were work­ing on the rights of women, the girl child, we worked on pover­ty. Now the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals were the next set of inter­na­tion­al goals spon­sored by the Unit­ed Nations and they aim to erad­i­cate pover­ty and a lot of the risk fac­tors for human traf­fick­ing are alle­vi­at­ed if we imple­ment and work through the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals. And that’s how we will see 8.7 actu­al­ly resolve itself with the end of human traf­fick­ing.  

John: [00:13:58] Yeah this is true in the way that you put it, but the fact that he was not in the ear­li­er draft was an enor­mous dis­ad­van­tage and an enor­mous set­back to human dig­ni­ty and free­dom. It need­ed to be explic­it­ly declared that this is what is going to be achieved. That these are amongst the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in the world, and they need­ed to have an express ref­er­ence in the Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals as to what was hap­pen­ing. And it was because of the vision and the influ­ence of Pope Fran­cis that this was brought about.  

Sandie: [00:14:40] And this is so impor­tant for peo­ple to under­stand because it does focus on, even though it’s at the high­est lev­el and its glob­al, it still rec­og­nizes the human dig­ni­ty, the Ima­go Dei, of the indi­vid­ual whether it’s a child, a woman, or a man. So, you took this big con­cept and cre­at­ed a frame­work in Syd­ney and I want to chal­lenge peo­ple of every faith insti­tu­tions whether it’s aca­d­e­m­ic, cor­po­rate town­ships, com­mu­ni­ties to fol­low this pat­tern in the Syd­ney frame­work. And we’re going to link to some of your resources, but can you give us a lit­tle more detail on how you devel­oped the edu­ca­tion and that kind of engage­ment into your strat­e­gy?  

John: [00:15:32] Well, under­stand that we have a Catholic school sys­tem. The Catholic school sys­tem is a part of the mis­sion of the church. If I can put it this way, its core busi­ness is real­ly decent moral edu­ca­tion. And to be able to bring about an adjust­ment with­in that so that there are a spe­cif­ic empha­sis and pri­or­i­ty in respect of mod­ern slav­ery and enforced labor is some­thing that was an obvi­ous ploy. Par­tic­u­lar­ly in a con­text where the pope has want­ed an inter­na­tion­al cam­paign in rela­tion piece. So, the frame­work was clear, and the sys­tem was adjust­ed both in terms of prayers, in terms of cost mate­r­i­al, in terms of cur­ricu­lum with var­i­ous grades because the Catholic school sys­tem goes from K to 12, K being kinder­garten, and there were var­i­ous lev­els at which this is taught. So, the edu­ca­tion­al frame­work was there, spe­cif­ic mate­r­i­al in respect of Catholic social teach­ing con­cern­ing slav­ery and forced labor and human dig­ni­ty was brought to the fore as a part of the moral edu­ca­tion of those in the Catholic schools. And the same in appro­pri­ate terms in respect to the parish­es, that is so the fam­i­lies of the stu­dents at Catholic schools and oth­ers of the faith­ful who are part of the Catholic Church in Syd­ney. So, there was a basis on which this could go for­ward, just as there is a basis on which this can go for­ward in respect of oth­er church­es in those terms. And for the parish­es, you don’t real­ly need to have sup­ply chains. You can intro­duce as we have done an eth­i­cal pur­chas­ing process so that it is bro­ken down for peo­ple to be able to sup­ply in the efforts of the arch­dio­cese and the church to try and show that we are try­ing to elim­i­nate as far as pos­si­ble every­thing to do with goods and ser­vices that are taint­ed with slav­ery or forced labor.  

Sandie: [00:17:56] So this is replic­a­ble based on the moral dis­ci­pline regard­less of what faith tra­di­tion that you come from. I think for me when I approach anti-human traf­fick­ing from an advo­ca­cy per­spec­tive, I’m often drawn into con­ver­sa­tions that are from dif­fer­ent sides of the aisle if you will. And for me, there is no anti-orga­ni­za­tion that’s fight­ing end­ing slav­ery. This is a bipar­ti­san issue. This is a place that we as a glob­al com­mu­ni­ty can all agree. And the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work togeth­er across par­ti­san lines, across reli­gious lines, across racial and eth­nic diver­si­ty, we can all be part of this. And I see this Syd­ney frame­work as some­thing I would like peo­ple to look at doing in a com­mu­ni­ty because when we do things by our­selves it isn’t scal­able. What you’ve done is scal­able and are there resources to help us learn how to do that?  

John: [00:19:10] Well cer­tain­ly we can pro­vide the mate­r­i­al in respect of our eth­i­cal pur­chas­ing schemes, the back­ground, and prin­ci­ples on which due dili­gence and sup­ply chains can be made avail­able to oth­ers in gen­er­al terms. Things are going to have to be adjust­ed for dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents and dif­fer­ent coun­tries and dif­fer­ent devel­op­ments. But the mis­sion and the object has got to be the same, which is that reli­gious, moral peo­ple do not want and do not asso­ciate, in any con­scious way, buy­ing goods or ser­vices that are tainted with slav­ery of forced labor. The oth­er thing they should do, Pro­fes­sor, is this- in their own time. That we have enor­mous pro­cure­ment of goods and ser­vices by our gov­ern­ments. This is tax­pay­er mon­ey. And if there is not sim­i­lar due dili­gence, if there is not sim­i­lar vig­i­lance in rela­tion to where goods and ser­vices ahead of pro­grams about sup­ply chains, then mon­ey is being giv­en, tax­pay­er mon­ey is being giv­en, to crim­i­nals even to crim­i­nals through this sort of dis­tri­b­u­tion. And we have found in our coun­try, and I believe it’s so in Amer­i­ca and indeed right across the world, that we peo­ple are told the tax­pay­er mon­ey is being used or may be used unwit­ting­ly, maybe some­times wit­ting­ly, but unwit­ting­ly to buy goods and ser­vices that have not been checked as to whether there is slav­ery ele­ments to it or forced labor. They just reject this, peo­ple say just stop it, don’t use our tax­es to sup­port crim­i­nals. We don’t want that, that can become across nations in the world, the very basis on which these sup­ply chains are bro­ken you put them out of busi­ness. And if you put them out of busi­ness, then there is going to be mil­lions of peo­ple who are going to be free. We’re going to estab­lish this world should through 8.7 be estab­lish­ing over the next 10 years that this is not to be a part of the future. That what the pope wants is an attain­able and real objec­tive, that should be achieved. And that is that we don’t have anoth­er gen­er­a­tion in slav­ery.  

Sandie: [00:22:01] Absolute­ly.  

John: [00:22:03] We can’t have anoth­er gen­er­a­tion in forced labor. That this is not our world, that this is not the world that we want for our chil­dren or our grand­chil­dren. I mean I’ve got you men­tioned in my intro­duc­tion that I’ve got grand­chil­dren, now I don’t want to see them in slav­ery, but I don’t want to see any chil­dren in that sit­u­a­tion.  

Sandie: [00:22:26] And don’t want to see my grand­chil­dren per­pet­u­at­ing this by mak­ing deci­sions that are prag­mat­ic.  

John: [00:22:34] You couldn’t put it bet­ter, Pro­fes­sor.  

Sandie: [00:22:37] This is such a deep dis­cus­sion and there’s so much more that we can talk about. Our time is wrap­ping up, but what I want to encour­age peo­ple is go back to pre­vi­ous pod­casts, we’ll put the links in the show notes. When we talked about the Cal­i­for­nia sup­ply chain trans­paren­cy act, when we’ve talked about fair trade and what our stu­dents are doing using that, and how do you do sup­ply chain eval­u­a­tion. Those are skills that have to be part of this agen­da if we are to see SDG 8.7 real­ized. And it takes every­body I love chal­leng­ing gov­ern­ment pro­cure­ment to become experts on sup­ply chain trans­paren­cy that’s amaz­ing. Ambas­sador, will you just give us a oneminute sum­ma­ry of what you want to see hap­pen this year in anti-traf­fick­ing 

John: [00:23:35] If had my wish this year there would be dec­la­ra­tions by gov­ern­ments across the world that they are exam­in­ing where they are obtain­ing goods and ser­vices and that they are announc­ing poli­cies that say that if you do not have an active anti-slav­ery pol­i­cy you do not get con­tract, that the pub­lic mon­ey will not go to you and that the Chris­t­ian church­es and oth­er reli­gious states in their orga­ni­za­tions say the same thing. And sec­ond­ly that across the world there is start­ing to be build up an eth­i­cal pur­chas­ing pol­i­cy start­ing sim­ply with ordi­nary peo­ple through parish­es but with oth­er orga­ni­za­tions. mean that peo­ple become con­scious that their own pur­chas­ing deci­sions have moral dimen­sion and that they can feel they are part of pro­gram and part of process that’s going on in this world that is going to see this end. And the third thing would like to see with lead­ers in the anti­slav­ery cause and more gen­er­al­ly is not only that Con­gress and the assem­blies inun­dat­ed with that but there becomes an atmos­phere that this is pri­or­i­ty issue and we are going to win this, that slav­ery and forced labor is going to come to an end in all its aspects and that we are all work­ing to bring this about.  

Sandie: [00:25:17] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And we’ll look for­ward to talk­ing to you again, Ambas­sador.  

John: [00:25:24] It’s plea­sure. And wish you well in all your work and car­ry the mes­sage as far and as loud­ly as pos­si­ble.  

Sandie: [00:25:33] will, sir, will.  

John: [00:25:35] Your coun­try is leader in the world in things that can be done against slav­ery. There’s more to be done and I’m sure that the gen­eros­i­ty of Amer­i­cans is such that when they’re told the direc­tion in which it can be done and how it can be done, they will do it. look for­ward to work­ing with you  

Sandie: [00:25:53] Absolute­ly.  

Dave: [00:25:55] Sandie, I’m think­ing about what the ambas­sador just said of spread­ing this mes­sage far and wide, and you know we’ve real­ly been part­nered with you, each of you as lis­ten­ers of this show in order to do that. And so, thank you for the priv­i­lege to be of influ­ence. And if you’re think­ing about how you can take the next step to end human traf­fick­ing, and now we are invit­ing you to take that next step if you haven’t already. Hop online and down­load a copy of Sandie’s free book, The Five Things You Must Know, a quick start guide to end­ing human traf­fick­ing. It’s the begin­ning point of being able to spread this mes­sage far and wide and that begin­ning point is you because it’s going to teach you the five crit­i­cal things that Sandie and the Glob­al Cen­ter for Women and Jus­tice think you should know before you join the fight against human traf­fick­ing. You can get access to that for free, just go over to That’s also the hub for every­thing with­in the pod­cast and all the resources and links we men­tioned in today’s show, and of course for every episode. And we will be back in two weeks with our next con­ver­sa­tion. Sandie, thank you so much.  

Sandie: [00:27:10] Thanks, Dave.  

Dave: [00:27:11] Take care, every­one.  









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Doctrine sociale de l’Église catholique

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