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UK to apply Modern Slavery Act to public procurement - but will it work?

3/7/19 - Patricia Carrier, Project Manager, Modern Slavery Registry

Patricia Carrier in Reuters: 'Only with a strong regulatory regime can UK taxpayers be confident that their money is not being spent on goods and services tainted by modern slavery.'

As a reform to the outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s flagship policy, it was announced with little fanfare. 

But news that every UK government department will have to report what they are doing to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains has huge implications in a country where so much public work is outsourced to private companies. 

Under the Modern Slavery Act, companies with a turnover of £36 million must publish statements about what they are doing to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains. In December, at the G20 summit in Argentina, May revealed her plans to apply this to the public sector. 

It is a major development because the government spends more than £200 billion a year on procurement and millions of pounds are spent on services with a high risk of labour exploitation, such as cleaning, catering, security, waste collection, and logistics...

Read the rest in Reuters