UNDA Medical Students Learn About Modern Slavery

08 February 2021

140 University of Notre Dame Australia (UNDA) first year medical students were recently exposed to modern slavery on their second day of medical school. Jenny Stanger, from the Archdiocese of Sydney, presented a one-hour session about how modern slavery interacts with health care - from the board room to the emergency room and the context of ACAN.

Jenny shared The Human Cost of Health Care, a British Medical Association initiative that focuses on fair and ethical medical trade and encouraged these future doctors to learn more about the challenges of managing modern slavery risks in health care operations (cleaners, security guards, linens/laundry, food and waste management services staff) and supply chains that produce medical equipment, personal protective equipment, uniforms and other products and where child labour is particularly problematic.

The 2017 Do No Harm Report found a similar situation in Australia. “Considering the substantial size of publicly listed healthcare companies, and the fact that governments spend around one quarter of tax revenue on health goods and services, Australian listed healthcare companies and governments are well placed to use their influence on the market to push for improved labour standards and better protection of workers..” - Do No Harm Report

Jenny also provided a real-life case study for students to consider as practitioners in a clinical setting. Health care professionals can play a critical role in responding to victims in health care settings that are often one of the few places people experiencing modern slavery can be safely identified and assisted.

Notre Dame opposes all forms of slavery and human trafficking, and is committed to taking steps to ensure that it does not occur in its operations or in its supply chains. Our forthcoming Modern Slavery Statement outlines the ways in which we are identifying and addressing key risks within Notre Dame’s supply chains. Training our students in recognising and eradicating modern slavery is just one step in the process. We will also be rolling out staff training in the coming months and will update staff with how they can get involved in this vital cause.

Notre Dame continues to make an ongoing commitment to manage the risk of modern slavery and to ongoing collaboration to ensure we make actual and lasting change in this area.

Media Contact: Breyon Gibbs : +61 8 9433 0569 | breyon.gibbs@nd.edu.au