Executive Directive

Modern Slavery Prevention



The Executive Directive – Modern Slavery Prevention enables Catholic Education Western Australia Limited (CEWA) to actively and consciously counter any presence of modern slavery within operations, business relationships and extended supply chains.

The directive provides a robust framework to ensure compliance with the reporting requirements of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) and reinforces CEWA’s commitment to preventing, and ultimately eradicating by 2030, modern slavery by managing and mitigating modern slavery within business operations and supply chains.

Modern Slavery Prevention applies to all members of the CEWA community. References within this Executive Directive to CEWA refer to all CEWA schools, early years and learning care centres, outside school hours care programs and offices.

Sources of authority

  • CECWA Preamble – Effective 1 February 2021
  • Catholic Education Commission Western Australia Stewardship Policy – Effective February 2021.
  • Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth)


  1. Catholic social teaching calls for the dignity of work, the rights of workers and the advancement of the common good.
  2. CEWA does not knowingly use or contribute to modern slavery practices in any form.
  3. CEWA actively works to identify and eliminate modern slavery practices from operations, business partnerships and supply chains.
  4. Any form of exploitative treatment, punishment, abuse of labour rights, coercive control (physical, mental, psychological or financial) of CEWA community members operation or people in its supply chain is unacceptable.
  5. CEWA  complies with all relevant laws and regulations regarding worker recruitment, remuneration, working conditions and freedom of association.
  6. CEWA’s final purchasing decisions are not be based on price alone. Ethical business processes are an essential part of our value for money and ‘fit for purpose’ considerations which includes consideration of a living wage for workers and responsible worker recruitment.
  7. CEWA incorporates ethical considerations alongside more traditional financial factors into investment analysis and decision making.
  8. CEWA continues to support suppliers and business partners to assess and address modern slavery risks and take action to improve transparency, traceability and accountability for modern slavery practices and impacts in our collective supply chains.


The principal and CEWA Executive must follow

  1. Actions to prevent and manage modern slavery risk
  2. What to do if slavery is suspected or discovered
  3. Non-compliance with the Executive Directive
  4. CEWA’s Modern Slavery Risk Management Program


Actions to Prevent and Manage Modern Slavery Risk

CEWA Ltd’s modern slavery risk management program is underpinned by ethical business and investment practices and consideration of all stakeholders (including people who are at-risk of and/or experience modern slavery practices).

To put this directive into practice the following actions are required of commissioners, workers, business partners and suppliers.

Commissioners, Management, Staff and Contractors

  • CECWA, as the Board of Directors for CEWA Ltd, has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy and its implementation complies with relevant Catholic social teachings, and legal and ethical obligations.
  • The CEWA Executive has ultimate responsibility for managing modern slavery risk within CEWA Ltd.
  • All levels of management, at office and school level, are responsible for ensuring workers are aware of this policy, are provided with regular training in its application and have sufficient resources for its implementation.
  • Anyone working for CEWA Ltd or on its behalf is expected to implement the following measures:
    • ensuring that the identification, prevention, management and mitigation of modern slavery risk is a core responsibility of all workers;
    • business operations or relationships that knowingly support, facilitate or encourage worker exploitation or modern slavery practices are strictly forbidden;
    • any actual or suspected activity that could breach this policy must be reported immediately.
  • Relevant external stakeholders shall be engaged to support this policy (for example suppliers, contractors, investment managers, joint venture or other business partners).
  • Anti-slavery clauses that include the right to audit, review documentation and interview workers shall be incorporated into procurement tenders and contracts.
  • Supplier reviews (including self-assessment questionnaires) shall be undertaken to assess levels of modern slavery risk, commitment and capacity to manage identified risks. This includes any new company that wants to do business with CEWA Ltd.


Suppliers, Business Partners and Investment Managers

  • CEWA Ltd will actively engage with suppliers to promote this policy and assist to develop their capabilities to identify and manage modern slavery risks.
  • CEWA Ltd expects suppliers to share our goals and values in relation to ending modern slavery.
  • Suppliers are expected to support CEWA Ltd’s efforts to assess the levels of risk within their operations and supply chain, and to gauge their commitment and capability to manage modern slavery risks.
  • Suppliers shall demonstrate how they identify, prevent, manage and mitigate modern slavery risk in their operations and supply chains.

What to do if Slavery is Suspected or Discovered

  • Internal reporting of actual or potential modern slavery risks by workers is expected. Workers shall immediately report any suspected violations of the policy or other illegal or unethical conduct.
  • Information is confidential and there shall be no retribution or retaliation for reports made in good faith.
  • Suppliers must report suspected or actual modern slavery practices, indicators or red flags immediately without fear of retribution, retaliation or loss of business with us. CEWA Ltd commits to working with our suppliers to address issues, ensure effective remedy and implement prevention measures.
  • If a supplier or any other person outside CEWA Ltd provides information to a staff member about suspected or actual modern slavery practices, indicators or red flags within our organisation or supply chain, the information must be immediately passed on to their line manager for escalation.

Non-Compliance with this Executive Directive

  • Workers who breach this policy will face disciplinary action. This could, in the most severe circumstances include dismissal for misconduct or gross misconduct and, if warranted, legal proceedings may be commenced. ​​​​​​​
  • CEWA Ltd retains the right to terminate its relationship with individuals, suppliers and organisations working on its behalf or engaged by it if they breach this policy.


CEWA’s Modern Slavery Risk Management Program – Key Elements

  1. An Executive Directive, which outlines our commitment to prevent and manage modern slavery within our operations, investment activities, business partnerships and supply chains, being this policy.
  2. Communication of this policy and related program initiatives to staff, business partners and supply chain.
  3. Assessment of modern slavery risks within our operations, investment portfolios and supply chain and the development of effective, efficient and transparent controls to manage and mitigate risks.
  4. Integrating anti-slavery requirements into relevant tenders and contract terms and conditions.
  5. Adopting due diligence measures for review of suppliers and business partners coupled with a requirement that they implement systems and processes to effectively manage their own modern slavery risk.
  6. Raising awareness, engaging and educating staff and other key stakeholders so they take individual responsibility to identify modern slavery practices and take practical steps to prevent and manage risk.
  7. Implementing a robust contact system escalation protocol and remedy pathway to ensure human rights impacts caused by our activities are effectively addressed.


Types of Modern Slavery Relevant to Business

Debt Bondage (or Bonded Labour)

Debt bondage is the most common form of slavery. This occurs when a person is forced to work to pay off an excessive debt unfairly imposed on them by a recruitment agent or employer. The person works for little or no pay, with no control over their debt. Over time, the value of their work becomes greater than the original debt. Examples of debt bondage are associated with recruitment fees, travel, visas, work materials or schemes where a person must pay to get a job.

Deceptive Recruiting for Labour or Services

Deceptive recruiting occurs when a victim is misled about the job they are recruited for, and it leads to them being trapped in modern slavery.

Forced Labour

Forced labour is any work or service which people are forced to do against their will under threat of penalty. A victim is not free to stop working or to leave their place of work because of physical and/or psychological coercion. This may include threats and violence against themselves, other workers, family members or others.

Human Trafficking

The legal definition of human trafficking in Australia is:

… the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a person through means such as threat or use of force, coercion, deception, or abuse of power or vulnerability; for the purpose of exploiting that person …

Human trafficking is a serious crime which often, ends up with the trafficked people being exploited through modern slavery, forced labour, servitude, debt bondage, organ removal or other forms of exploitation.

Worst Forms of Child Labour

The worst forms of child labour include where children are:

  • exploited through slavery, forced labour or similar practices;
  • engaged in hazardous work which may harm their health, safety or morals;
  • used to produce or traffic drugs.

The worst forms of child labour can occur in a variety of contexts and industries. This may include orphanage trafficking and slavery in residential care institutions, as well as child labour in factories and manufacturing sites, mining and agriculture.

Importantly, not all child labour is illegal if the correct controls are in place such as children being engaged in light physical labour only, not being subjected to hazardous work, and where working hours are limited and outside school time.

Slavery or Slavery Like Offences

Slavery is defined in the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995 (Section 270) as where the ‘powers attaching to the right of ownership are exercised’: people are dehumanised to the point where they are literally owned by others.

Slavery is the exploitation and control of others through coercion, such as:

  • restricting where people live, work, move or communicate with others;
  • using threats or actual violence against the person or their family;
  • forcing them to work, withholding food or water, pay and other forms of abuse.

Examples include men forced to work on farms or construction sites, women in cleaning or children in factories – they don’t have the choice to live in freedom and with dignity.

People who are trapped in modern slavery are often manipulated in schemes that do not allow them to escape, to ask for help or to gain an understanding that they are in fact victims of criminal activity. Slavery is a major issue for Australian businesses both within Australia and in extended supply chains.


This Executive Directive will be reviewed annually by the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia. 
Effective date
February, 2021
Date of last amendment
Date of policy review
Version number