She also researches business and human rights, with a particular focus on corporate responsibility for human rights and modern slavery. The United Nations goal to eradicate slavery by 2030 helped raise the profile of the issue and that of Nolan area continues to grow in public consciousness.

In a video for the Teaching business and human rights ForumNolan notes that the term “modern slavery” was only mentioned 41 times by the media in 2000, but more than 6,000 times in 2018.

Some 40.3 million people are currently enslaved worldwide, or 5.4 victims per thousand people. To reach the UN goal, 10,000 people must be freed from slavery every day.

In the rush to find clean energy sources, there is a danger that human rights abuses will be overlooked.

Justine Nolan, Director, Australian Institute for Human Rights

Nolan works closely with businesses and non-governmental organizations and has been one of the key figures in the Australian business and human rights movement. She is a member of the Australian Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Modern Slavery.

Here is how a typical day in his professional life unfolds:

6am: I’m a morning person, so I usually get up around that time, walk the dog, and exercise. I live near Bondi Beach in Sydney, so most days I start out swimming in the ocean. Last summer, I set a goal to swim in all 45 ocean pools in Sydney.

An ocean pool in Bronte, Sydney. Image: Gervo1865_2 – LJ Gervasoni/Flickr

8am: I start working either in my home office or at UNSW catching up on emails overnight. I do calls to the United States or Europe at the start of my day. This morning I have a zoom call with academics from the United States, Europe, Mexico and Colombia, who are all part of the advisory committee for teaching business and human rights Forum. The network promotes the teaching of business and human rights in universities.

9 a.m.: I give a lecture to my students on international human rights law. The class debates how to better regulate supply chains to tackle forced labor in sectors such as garments, agriculture and construction. I use the word “regulate” with caution. Sometimes it seems that many companies are operating in the “supply chain independent republic” where there are few hard and fast laws to hold them accountable if something goes wrong. And they often do.

We also consider the business and human rights impacts of the clean energy transition, such as the growing demand for cobalt or polysilicon (used in the production of solar panels) from places such as the Republic Democratic Congo or Xinjiang, China, where forced labor is often a feature of their supply chains.

Students are passionate about these issues, and wanting to know more about the relationship between climate change and human rights. In a hurry to find sources of clean energy, there is a danger that human rights abuses will be overlooked – such as the use of forced labor to produce these goods, or a failure to obtain the informed consent of indigenous peoples on whose lands the resources are located. Students are increasingly focused on corporate social responsibilitieswho they will be working with. This is important because they are our future business leaders.

11 a.m.: A meeting with the Australian Human Rights Institute team to take stock of our monthly targets and achievements. The Institute was created by UNSW to bridge the gap between academic research and real-world problems. We adopt a convenient approach to our human rights work with a main objective on the human rights issues thatintersect with business, health and gender. Ssome of diverse recent programs we are working to include addressing gender justice issues and making the right to health a reality. For example, our 2021 report have shown that progress on corpora addressingHuman rights abuses by Australian companies at home and abroad over the past 10 years have been ad hoc and lack of consistency on the part of business and government in creating a work environment wherere rights are respected.

12 p.m.: As I get up early; I also usually eat breakfast early. It’s usually taken at my desk as I also use lunch hour to catch up on endless incoming emails. I’m trying to best limit my email response to fixed times of the day, but I’m still working on that! A large number of emails are logistical or administrative in nature, but I like audience former students looking for advice on moving in a career in human rights. I try to connect them with opportunities whether applying for higher education, work for companies on social responsibility or gain experience with Human Rights NGOs — the more talented people we have working on these issues, the better.

Jhe next 12 months will be critical in strengthening the business practices that underpin mandatory reporting on human rights issues such as modern slavery.

1 p.m.: One of the projects the Australian Institute for Human Rights is working on is a collaborative research grant (funded by the Australian Government) with four other universities and NGOs to assess the effectiveness of Australia’s modern slavery law, and reviews company reporting under this new law. The law was passed in 2018, so we are at a very early stage of assessing how companies are responding and adapting their practices to better identify and address modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

Too often companies focus on policy reform but neglect to consider how this is reflected in their practices. There is still a big gap for many between what is promised and what is delivered. We will soon publish a report on this which shows this, over 100 statements on modern slavery that We verifyed, 52 percent of companies can’t identifythere are clear risks of modern slavery in their supply chain. For example, three out of four of the apparel companies surveyed that source from China fail to mention the widely reported risks of state-sponsored Uyghur forced labor in their supply chains.

Jhe next 12 months will be critical in strengthening the business practices that underpin mandatory reporting on human rights issues such as modern slavery. To drive meaningful change, companies must examine their business models and sourcing practices and begin to embed responsible sourcing practices that support workers’ rights and avoid downward pressure on suppliers and ultimately account, on the workers themselves.

3 p.m.: Meeting with representatives of the United Nations Development Program in Bangkok. We are working with them to develop a training program to help inform and educate National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) across Asia on business and human rights issues. NHRI provide a bridge between governments and civil society and are essential to prevent and redress corporate human rights abuses. Too often, institutions lack resources. This program offers them the opportunity to improve their skills to intervene more effectively in order to improve workers’ rights.

Jean Nsengimana and Antoine Zihabamwe

Jean Nsengimana and Antoine Zihabamwe have not been seen since September 28, 2019. They were abducted from a bus in Nyagatare district, Rwanda. Image: Australian Institute of Human Rights

5 p.m.: Meeting with the Australian Institute of Human Rights Consultative Committee. One of the initiatives that came out of this group is our advocacy with the UN to deal with the disappearance in Rwanda of the two brothers of one of the members of our Advisory Committee, Noel Zihabamwe. Mr. Zihabamwe is an Australian citizen who moved to Australia on a humanitarian visa in 2006. In 2016, he was approached by Rwandan government agents who attempted to recruit him to become an influencer in Australia for the government. . After Mr. Zihabamwe refused, he was harassed by Rwandan government officials. Her brothers were abducted in 2019. Together with pro bono support from lawyer Jennifer Robinson and law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, we filed a complaint with the UN seeking some form of justice.

6 p.m.: Over the past two years, when much of the world has been working remotely, I’ve noticed a trend towards extending my working days. On the positive side, it is now more possible to get involved in human rights research and advocacy initiatives as they develop. But the downside is that our nights are often interrupted by late-night meetings. I’ve become less tolerant of 3 am meetings, but I usually have one or two late night meetings each week which I do after dinner. But if nothing is planned, I go home and if I have time, I still take a dip in the ocean to end the day.