Modern slavery research

5 July 2023

A shockingly high percentage of workers in the global construction industry are victims of modern slavery. How can Australian architects address the impacts of modern slavery on projects? Take the survey to help Curtin University researchers learn more.

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) report Property, Construction & Modern Slavery 2020 has identified that the construction industry represents 7% of all workers internationally, of which 18% are victims of modern slavery. A further 22% who produce and process raw materials are also victims of modern slavery (AHRC 2020).

Modern slavery and human rights impact different areas of projects that architects work on. It can impact clients, project locations, project management, material selections, and specifications. Often this is unseen and untraceable, making it hard to vet the modern slavery and human rights implications on the projects architects work on.

We need new tools and better guidance for architects and building designers in the 21st century to deal with the impacts of modern slavery on projects. If you are working or studying in the architectural industry, we need your voice and ideas!


This survey is part of a master’s research project run by Curtin University, through the School of Design and the Built Environment. The purpose of this survey is to understand and evaluate how architects and those working in architectural practice and allied professions are responding to modern slavery issues, what barriers exist, and what resources and supports are required to aid action in the profession in better dealing with this issue.

The survey will close on 15 February 2024 and should take approximately 5–10 minutes to complete.

For more information, contact Lead Researcher Anwyn Shoemark.

Photos: International Labour Organisation