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Article

16 Aug 2014

Author:
Frank Field MP in Spectator (UK)

David Cameron could have been an anti-slavery hero [UK]

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When I helped bring the Modern Slavery Bill to parliament I thought here, surely, was a piece of legislation that the PM would want to own...But...[w]ary of alienating the business community, he balked at the idea of stipulating that quoted companies must report on how they were checking their supply chains against their use of slave labour. He thought this would introduce an unnecessary regulatory burden on businesses.In fact, a host of big businesses from Tesco to the Co-op, from Primark to investment bankers like Rathbones, would welcome the legislation...By not forcing companies to conduct due diligence, to declare their supply chains slave-free, Cameron has denied them the best line of defence: ‘I checked my suppliers, as the law demands.’...I challenge the churches to draw inspiration from the great Christian abolitionist, William Wilberforce, and galvanise their followers to stamp out slavery. Now as then, if they choose, they can be a great lobbying force for good.

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