Government launches consultation on supply chain slavery

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The government is launching a consultation with business on its plans to tackle slavery in supply chains. Minister Karen Bradley said: “I am determined to ensure that UK supply chains are not being infiltrated by modern slavery.”

Under the Modern Slavery Bill, large companies will for the first time have a legal duty to disclose to the public the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery does not have a place in their business – from the shop floor to the factory floor, anywhere in the world. This is the latest measure introduced by the government to strengthen the landmark provision in the Modern Slavery Bill.

Minister for modern slavery and organised crime Karen Bradley (above) launched the consultation saying: “I am determined to ensure that UK supply chains are not being infiltrated by modern slavery.

“Supply chains are often extremely long, complex and cross international borders. Even services provided in the UK can involve outsourced labour from across the globe.”

The consultation provides interested parties with the opportunity to have their say on what size of business this new requirement should apply to and what the accompanying statutory guidance for businesses should cover.

Programme coordinator for the Stronger Together initiative, which works with businesses to tackle labour exploitation, David Camp said: “We welcome this consultation. Responsible businesses, such as the Stronger Together project sponsors, called for there to be a supply chain transparency element to the Modern Slavery Bill and we are pleased the government listened.

“Stronger Together equips business with pragmatic guidance and free resources to tackle slavery and hidden exploitation in supply chains. Business will play a fundamental role in the years ahead in eliminating global slavery. This consultation is an important building block in this process and we commend business to respond.”

The Modern Slavery Bill was published in June 2014 and is now being scrutinised by Parliament with the intention that it is made law before the General Election.

It will give law enforcement the tools to tackle modern slavery, ensure that perpetrators can receive suitably severe sentences, introduce an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, enhance support and protection for victims, and encourage businesses to do more to eliminate modern slavery from their global supply chains.

Click here to take part in the consultation.

The closing date for responses to the consultation is 7th May 2015.

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