50 million people are trapped in modern slavery
Modern Slavery "Human Trafficking" can affect anybody no matter their age, gender or race. It is the exploitation of people for personal or commercial gain. Slavery occurs in almost every country in the world, and cuts across all ethnic, cultural and religious lines. Modern Slavery is on the rise; victims may be fleeing war zones, others may be facing financial difficulties. It is essential that we educate businesses how to protect themselves, their staff and supply chains from becoming potential victims of modern slavery.
Modern Slavery Act (2015)
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 places duties on companies to report on the steps they are taking to eradicate slavery from their business.
The Act is targeted at organisations with an annual turnover above £36 million. However, SMEs may be asked if they have a statement or policy in place on modern slavery, especially if they are seeking contracts with larger organisations. These organisations are more willing to work with a business they believe are taking the necessary ethical steps to end slavery in their supply chain.
Modern Slavery in Business
Modern Slavery is a worldwide organised criminal activity and can operate in any area of our society especially businesses and their supply chains. Regardless of their size or income, businesses have an important role to play in the eradication of slavery today.
Genuine business are often targeted by criminals to exploit individuals, often without the knowledge of that business or workers' realising they are being exploited.
Why is Modern Slavery Prevention Important for My Business?
There have been concerns that UK businesses, and goods sold in the UK, are exposed to slavery in international supply chain. Preventing modern slavery operating in your business is both ethically, and commercially, important.
This means that you are actively helping prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals by reducing the opportunities for organised criminal activity to operate.
There are many advantages to operating a modern slavery compliant business including protection of brand reputation, maintaining customer loyalty, and improved trade and sales.
For instance, large business customers and clients, as part of their own modern slavery prevention activity, can provide evidence that their suppliers and supply chains are free from slavery.
This evidence will give a significant commercial advantage over competitor businesses that cannot credibly provide such assurances about their business and supply chains.
How Can I Protect My Business From Modern Slavery Threats?
You will need to:
Understand modern slavery and the slavery threat to business;
Understand my business and look within it to see where MS threats might occur;
Understand my supply chain and as above;
Put in place due diligence procedures and increase transparency to the threat;
Define the ongoing action/developmental action plan to improve anti slavery prevention.