The U.K. Modern Slavery Act became law on March 26th, 2015. This new law has the potential to set a new European precedent in the eradication of slavery, and could have far-reaching implications for how businesses operating in the U.K. must evaluate and manage what is happening in their supply chains.
In response to growing public concern, the U.K. enacted the Modern Slavery Act in March 2015, which contains a dedicated section on Transparency in Supply Chains for ‘commercial organizations’ (Part 6 Clause 54) requiring them to report on their due diligence efforts to prevent slavery and trafficking. Background Voluntary initiatives have been influential in provoking stakeholder dialogue and increasing supply chain transparency. The Modern Slavery Act requires companies to explain, and publish, efforts to:
- Identify and analyze and risks of human trafficking and slavery in the supply chain.
- Create and Maintain internal accountability standards and procedures for employees and contractors and taking action on those who fail to meet company standards regarding slavery and trafficking.
- Conduct audits of suppliers to evaluate supplier compliance with company standards for human trafficking and slavery in supply chains.
- Require direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into the product comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business.
- Provide company employees and managers, with direct responsibility for supply chain management, training on human trafficking and slavery, particularly with respect to mitigating risks within the supply chains of products.