It is estimated that nearly 25 million people worldwide are shackled in modern slavery.
Organisations in the UK can do their bit to ensure that they take measures to keep their supply chains slavery-free.
Companies should follow the principles developed by the UK, along with the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand to combat modern slavery.
In doing so, they will be able to prevent forced labour in their supply chains.
Modern Slavery Act 2015
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 mandates that businesses in the UK publish an annual report to reveal the steps they have taken to prevent forced labour and exploitation in their supply chains.
Today, procurement is no longer restricted by geographical boundaries, so it is imperative that organisations are not intentionally or unintentionally complicit in forced labour while maximising their profits.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 has defined four principles that the UK hopes companies and other nations will adopt:
- Governments have the responsibility to prevent and combat human trafficking when it comes to government procurement. They should provide contractors and procurement professionals with the necessary tools to assess risk and take corrective measures.
- The private sector should work along with the government to handle and prevent human trafficking. For this, the private sector should assess its supply chains and use the tools provided by the government to report the measures that it has adopted to combat forced labour and exploitation in its supply chains.
- Governments should share their knowledge and practices with each other to ensure that the same standards are maintained in different countries to tackle modern slavery. Also, different countries should have similar regulations and laws to combat forced labour and exploitation in global supply chains.
- Responsible recruitment practices and policies are essential for preventing exploitation of workers. Governments and organisations should spread the word about their recruitment practices to mitigate fraud in recruitment, thereby preventing the exploitation of workers.
Procurement professionals should become aware of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and its requirements if they want to address modern slavery and comply with the Act.