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UK Govt. announces that businesses will “have to publicly state what action they have taken” to ensure absence of slavery in supply chains

For more information & commentaries on the UK Modern Slavery bill, see here.

Session of the House of Commons - United Kingdom

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14 October 2014

Commentary: Ethical Trading Initiative representative says bill does not “tackle modern slavery in supply chains”

Author: Cindy Berman, Ethical Trading Initiative, commentary for Institute for Human Rights and Business

"UK Modern Slavery Bill: Will it protect, respect and ensure access to redress for workers?", 14 Oct 2014

…The Modern Slavery Bill is the first of its kind, and the UK government’s commitment to being a global leader in tackling this crime is admirable…[W]hat’s the problem with the current Bill?...[T]here is currently nothing in the draft legislation to tackle modern slavery in supply chains. Yet it is in the private economy…that most of the 21 million workers in forced labour or trafficking for labour exploitation are to be found…Civil society advocacy and anti-trafficking groups have been calling for better legislation for years on this…The Bill classically falls under the ‘Protect’ pillar of the UN Guiding Principles…We sent a…message to the Prime Minister…asking him for three things in the…Bill: Require companies to be transparent and accountable for tackling modern slavery; Expand the role and remit of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority; Ensure an independent and enforcement role for an Anti-Slavery Commissioner that will ensure access to redress for victims…

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13 October 2014

Big Business to be held to account to keep supply chains slavery free

Author: UK Home Office & Karen Bradley MP

Big businesses will have to publicly state each year what action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are slavery free, Home Office Minister Karen Bradley announced today. The measure is to be included in the Modern Slavery Bill, currently going through Parliament, and goes further than any similar legislation in the world by applying to businesses regardless of the nature of a company or what it supplies…[C]ases of labour exploitation have overtaken sexual exploitation demonstrating the clear need for this pioneering legislation…A consultation will be held to set the exact threshold for the size of business to ensure the system is both fair and robust. Statutory guidance will also be produced setting out the kinds of information that might be disclosed to help companies comply…The duty of disclosure announced today will apply regardless of the nature of the company or what it supplies…

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13 October 2014

UK firms will have to disclose actions they have taken to ensure slavery free supply chains

Author: Alan Travis, Guardian (UK)

"UK firms to face new rules aimed at ending slavery in supply chains", 13 Oct 2014

Large companies are to face an annual duty of disclosure over the steps they have taken to ensure their supply chains are “slavery free”, Home Office ministers have announced. Karen Bradley, the minister for modern slavery and organised crime, said the measure would be included in the modern slavery bill going through parliament, which brings together current offences on trafficking and slavery…The measure in Britain is designed to apply more widely to all large companies, regardless of their products or their nature…The announcement came as the Salvation Army reported that the number of cases of labour or sexual exploitation supported by it under a Home Office contract had risen by 62% over the past year…

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