The International Labour Organization estimates that illicit profits from modern slavery reach $150 billion a year. In 2016, 16 million people were victims of forced labour in the private economy. Companies are exposed to modern slavery risks through their own operations and through complex supply chains where manufacturing, sourcing, financing and hiring are outsourced. Risks are particularly high further down the supply chain.

The UK Modern Slavery Act (the Act) recognises that every large company has these risks, and requires all companies with an annual turnover of at least £36 million and operating in the UK to report on the action they are taking to ensure modern slavery does not take place in their operations and supply chains. The UK government suggests companies cover six reporting areas in their reports: organizational and supply chain structure, company policies, due diligence processes, risk assessments, effectiveness of measures in place and training (the reporting areas).

This report by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre assesses the action reported by the FTSE 100, the UK’s largest listed companies. Findings show there is a welcome cluster of leading companies taking robust action, such as Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury (J) and Unilever, while the majority show a lacklustre response to the Act at best.

Since producing the report, the authors have received updates and clarifications from some companies. These are detailed here.

Key recommendations

Companies should

  • Ensure corporate executives prioritise modern slavery as part of the strategic agenda of the company and support all departments implementing relevant policies and strategies.
  • Cooperate with their peers to investigate modern slavery risks common supply chains through deep-dive research, and share insights to help develop best practice.
  • Raise awareness among their suppliers of modern slavery risks and require them to conduct due diligence in their operations and supply chains.

Investors should
Engage with companies on their actions to tackle modern slavery and reward companies that demonstrate due diligence to avoid slavery and provide remedy. More information is available in CORE Coalition’s briefing, Engaging with Companies on Modern Slavery – A Briefing for Investors.

UK Government should

  • Improve the monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure companies that are required to report under the Act feel pressure to comply and are penalised if they fail to do so.
  • Publish a list of the companies required to produce statements under the Act and support open, free, and accessible information regarding company compliance;
  • Provide clear incentives for corporate action: bids for public contracts should be dependent on companies demonstrating due diligence in their operations and their modern slavery statements.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+Email
First Year of FTSE 100 Reports under the UK Modern Slavery Act: Towards Elimination? - BHRRC, 2017 DOWNLOAD

post

page

attachment

revision

nav_menu_item

custom_css

customize_changeset

oembed_cache

user_request

wp_block

acf-field-group

acf-field

wpephpcompat_jobs

ai1ec_event

Human Trafficking and Labour Exploitation in the Casual Construction Industry: An Analysis of Three Major Investigations in the UK Involving Irish Traveller Offending Groups
Publications

Authors: Ella Cockbain & Helen Brayley-Morris Abstract Human trafficking and modern slavery are routinely framed as key threats facing society. Despite increased media, policy, and practitioner attention the evidence base remains underdeveloped...Read More

Deadly Secrets: How Apparel Brands Cover up Safety Hazards
Publications

For many years the dirty secret of the steadily growing Bangladeshi garment industry has been its underpaid workers, treated as disposable objects. The lowest paid garment workers anywhere in the world, hundreds of them have died in preventable fact...Read More

The Global Slavery Index 2016
Publications

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The Global Slavery Index (‘the Index’) provides an estimate of the number of people in modern slavery, the factors that make individuals vulnerable to this crime, and an assessment of government action across 167 countries. Th...Read More

TAGS: Global
Is your Supply Chain Slave Proof? Modern Slavery and Illegal Trafficking – Global Mandatory Reporting and Due Diligence Requirements in the Supply Chain
Publications

by Joanne O’Donnell In today’s global economy, multinationals face an increasingly complex and evolving legal environment, requiring their compliance functions to constantly adapt. As tackling modern slavery and illegal trafficking is fast becom...Read More