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23 Jan 2019


UK: Parliamentarians call to sanction companies that don't comply with Modern Slavery Act

"Lawmakers urge UK to punish big companies that fail to tackle modern slavery", 22 January 2019

Britain should give its landmark modern slavery law more bite and punish businesses and public bodies that fail to combat slavery in their supply chains, lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The 2015 Modern Slavery Act requires firms whose turnover exceeds 36 million pounds ($48 million) to produce an annual statement outlining the actions they have taken to avoid slavery in their operations...

...Yet a lack of enforcement and penalties, and confusion around the reporting requirements, have resulted in many companies flouting the law, three politicians said in a government-ordered review of the first-of-its-kind legislation...

...The politicians behind the review - Frank Field, Maria Miller and Elizabeth Butler-Sloss - said Britain should change the law to introduce penalties, ranging from fines and court summons to disqualifying directors of firms that fail to comply...

...The review said the law should be sharpened to specify the scope of the anti-slavery statements, and remove a section that allows companies to comply by stating they have taken no action.

Britain should also follow the example of Australia - which in November passed a modern slavery law - by requiring large public bodies to file an anti-slavery report, the review said.