Our team hosted an event in Norway to inform and share knowledge about modern-day slavery among businesses and professionals in light of the new Norwegian Transparency Act.
Following the introduction of the Transparency Act in July this year, Hope for Justice and Slave-Free Alliance are working to support organisations in meeting the requirements of the new law.
The Act necessitates that companies promote respect for human rights and decent working conditions, including the provision of a living wage, across their operations and supply chains.
At our event held at Litteraturhuset in Bergen this month, our team engaged with individuals and business representatives about the challenges they are facing in meeting these requirements and how to overcome these.
Both adults and students attended the two-hour event entitled ‘Kunnskapsdeling om moderne slaveri’, which translates as ‘Sharing knowledge around modern slavery’. The topics covered included social sustainability, modern slavery and human rights in business.
Karoline Løvoll Strømme, Hope for Justice’s Project Manager in Bergen, took part in a panel discussion around the topic ‘What can we do to create lasting change?’ alongside three other guest speakers.
She said: “We want to work towards a reality where organisations are respecting human rights and ensure that they uphold decent working conditions for their employees and for workers in their supply chains.”
Experts in their fields, Jeanette Schultz Årvik, Senior Advisor at Slave-Free Alliance, and Maren Fluge Nordgreen, Project Coordinator at Future-Proof, also spoke at the event. Future-Proof is a project that is part of the Rafto Foundation – Raftostiftelsen – which works to promote human rights, hold governments and businesses to account, and teach democracy and human rights.
Karoline added: “Jeanette spoke about the new Transparency Act in Norway, detailing some of the challenges that businesses are facing in their operations and supply chains, and explaining the importance of firms taking action. Meanwhile Maren Nordgreen spoke on human rights in businesses and how Future-Proof work with local companies. We are really grateful to Maren for sharing her knowledge and expertise. We also want to thank everyone who attended the event. It was a brilliant opportunity to share experiences, learn from one another and have discussion around how we best achieve the aims of the Transparency Act. Ultimately, we want to ensure that workers are protected from harm, that businesses uphold their reputations, that they comply with human rights governance and carry out due diligence.”
Photo credit: Joakim Birkeland