Big business to be held accountable for keeping supply chains slavery free

All large organisations, including those in the maritime industry, will now have to state what action they have taken to ensure their supply chains are free of labour exploitation
Big business to be held accountable for keeping supply chains slavery free

Large companies are being targeted by UK government ministers to ensure that they are held accountable for keeping their supply chains slavery free.

Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Karen Bradley announced this week that big businesses will have to publicly state what action they have taken to keep their supply chains free of labour exploitation every year.

The new measure will be included in the Modern Slavery Bill which is currently going through parliament.

The legislation will apply to all businesses regardless of what the company does or what it supplies.

A report published earlier this week by the Salvation Army has revealed that the number of victims being referred to them has risen 62 percent. 

Speaking about the new measure Bradley said:

"The fact that there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in human history is shameful. We all have a responsibility to stamp out this evil trade and this world leading measure calls on business to play their part.

"There are already many companies showing a lead and taking action. Greater transparency will give customers, campaigners and shareholders the information they need to hold all big business to account while also supporting companies to do the right thing.”

The next step for the legislation is a consultation, which will be held to set out the threshold for what size the business must be for the measure to be applied.

A similar requirement is currently being used in California, although it only apply to businesses produced goods for sale.

According to the Walk Free, there are 29,800,000 people living in enslavement, directly affecting the global economy and supply chains all over the world. 

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by Laura Stackhouse

readmt.com Editor

Laura Stackhouse is the Web Editor of readmt.com, an official publication of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to readmt.com please get in touch.

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