Towards an International Modern Slavery Agreement

Modern Incidence of Slavery

Following the implementation of the UK's Modern Slavery Act in 2015, and as other countries consider similar legislation, is it time for an international modern slavery agreement?

The UK Modern Slavery Act requires that all large companies who operate in the UK to report what they are doing to eliminate modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. And the UK is not alone; legislation is being considered in other parts of Europe, North America, Australia and further afield 

A risk is surfacing: if governments all unilaterally design legislations then companies could understandably complain that they face inconsistent sets of legislation.

This blog series captures discussion and debate around a potential international modern slavery agreement.

If you would like to submit a piece for consideration, please email bardwell [at]

Eliminating Modern Slavery: Due diligence and the rule of law

Where corporations take responsibility for due diligence and consequently make their supply chains transparent, then it is possible to establish grievance procedures that can facilitate remedy of any violations of rights at work from forced labour to paying below the minimum wage.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 


A year after the UK Modern Slavery Act, time for a Global Modern Slavery Agreement?

Governments can and should cooperate to take the best of existing regulation and incentives, and set a common minimum standard of corporate behaviour. At the least, governments can coordinate to ensure coherent national laws that establish a level playing field for business.

Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre