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31 Mar 2017

UK: 1 year of company reports under the Modern Slavery Act - compliance & future steps

Friday 31 March 2017, marks one year since companies started reporting under the UK Modern Slavery Act. 

Under the Act any company with a turnover of at least £36 million operating in the UK, is required to report on the steps they are taking to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their operations and supply chains. The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre launched its UK Modern Slavery Act Registry in February 2016. The Resource Centre actively monitors the release of company statements and adds them to its free and open Registry to allow comparison and benchmarking of companies’ policy and practice. Of the 1700 statements tracked so far, only 15% fulfil all three minimum requirements of the Act (however, this is a 6% improvement on 6 months ago). Many companies failed to provide any information on the action they are taking or be open about where the risks lie in their supply chain. Recent better statements from HP, Primark, John Lewis & Bettys & Taylors Group Ltd demonstrate clarity on risks, and increasing rigor in their efforts to eliminate slavery.

This story highlights items that relate to the anniversary of the Act, company compliance with its requirements, and future steps in efforts to eliminate modern slavery.