Anti-Slavery Day 2016
18th October 2016 marked Anti-Slavery Day in the UK. Now in its sixth year, Anti-Slavery Day aims to raise awareness of modern slavery issues and inspire businesses, and other stakeholders, to eradicate it in all of its forms, including forced labour, exploitation and human trafficking. Globally, over 35 million people are believed to be subject to modern slavery. Of this number, an estimated 21 million people are in forced labour.
Sectors at high risk of having modern slavery in their supply chain include retail, textile and leather processing, garment and apparel manufacture.
From October 2015 the Modern Slavery Act creates a legal requirement for companies with an annual turnover in excess of £36 million to disclose information about modern slavery in their supply chain. Various stakeholders, including customers and investors, are likely to be concerned by issues around modern slavery. Moreover, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will undoubtedly be scrutinising company policy and practice.
“Certainly, costly examples of exposés across the retail and fashion industries show that failure to sufficiently address modern slavery can be highly damaging to brand image and reputation.”
Given the complexity of today’s supply chains, uncovering and addressing modern slavery is difficult. However, understanding the realities of modern slavery in a business context, and managing the associated risks, are critical to legal compliance. BLC can support you in determining the implications of the Modern Slavery Act for your business and proactively managing potential risks across your operations and value chain.
Top Tips for Addressing Modern Slavery
Transparency is Key
Improve the transparency of the labour force working either directly for your business, or in your supply chain. BLC’s supply chain mapping application is the ideal tool to support brands and retailers in identifying, assessing and mapping their value chains.
Train key employees on modern slavery issues and promote collaboration within your supply chain. BLC offers training and specialist expertise in understanding and addressing modern slavery.
Embed Best Practice
Align your current procurement practices with ethical sourcing frameworks and establish company policies accordingly. BLC can provide wholesale support in developing best practice management systems to not only achieve compliance with the Modern Slavery Act but also enhance brand reputation.