Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015

The Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has was published this week on the 22nd May 2019. The review has identified eighty recommendations for improvements to the operation of the act and wider policies to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking in the United Kingdom. The review makes significant recommendations for how legislation should be amended to increase compliance by businesses and improve supply chain transparency, including:

  • Recommendation 25: Failure to fulfil modern slavery statement reporting requirements or to act when instances of slavery are found should be an offence under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
  • Recommendation 22: The legislation should be amended to require companies to consider the entirety of their supply chains [in respect of modern slavery]. If a company has not done so, it should be required to explain why it has not and what steps it is going to take in the future.
  • Recommendation 18: In section 54(5) ‘may’ should be changed to ‘must’ or ‘shall’, with the effect that the six areas set out as areas that an organisation’s statement may cover will become mandatory. If a company determines that one of the headings is not applicable to their business, it should be required to explain why.
  • Recommendation 32: Section 54 should be extended to the public sector. Government departments should publish a [modern slavery] statement at the end of the financial year, approved by the Department’s board and signed by the Permanent Secretary as Accounting Officer. Local government, agencies and other public authorities should publish a statement if their annual budget exceeds £36 million.

The recommendations would significantly increase the responsibility on businesses to address anti-slavery in their supply chains, and afford the government greater power to punish companies that do not comply.

The full report can be found here.

Combating Human Trafficking Handbook

The Airports Council International have released the first edition of their handbook to help combat human trafficking. The handbook provides a variety of case studies of the work airports are carrying out in the anti-trafficking sector as well as  providing an overview of the nature of human trafficking and modern slavery itself, including the types and forms of exploitation it can take.

The handbook includes sections on:

  • Introduction: overview of human trafficking and the role airports can play in combating it.
  • Guidance: spotting the signs of human trafficking in airports and how to respond.
  • Staff Awareness: specific issues relating to staff awareness of human trafficking.
  • Public Awareness: Information on campaigns, partnerships , and awareness raising of human trafficking.
  • Case Studies
  • Appendices: Law and policy instruments and resources.

 

The full handbook can be accessed here.

Financing Organised Crime: Human Trafficking in Focus

The Centre for the Study of Democracy has released a paper looking at human trafficking within the EU and how it can be best understood by placing the financial proceeds of human trafficking at the centre of analysis. The paper recognises that there are substantial gaps in knowledge surrounding finances in trafficking in human beings in the EU, and this in part stems from local level law enforcement lacking specific experience in dealing with organised crime finances.

The report is broken into five main sections, including:

  1. A general overview of the state of criminal money management (CMM), and CMM within the specific context of human trafficking.
  2. Contemporary trends and market structures for human trafficking in the EU countries studied.
  3. The role money has to play in human trafficking.
  4. The role and implications ICT has for human trafficking.
  5. Survey of the role money laundering investigations can have in tackling trafficking in human beings.

The report concludes by summarising the main findings from each section and making policy recommendations for future research and practice.

Access to the full paper can be found here.

 

The Advocates for Human Rights Publish 2019 Labor Trafficking Protocol Guidelines

The Advocates for Human Rights published their labour trafficking protocol guidelines on the 31st of January 2019. The guidelines are designed to help communities identify and respond to labour trafficking victims throughout Minnesota, with a particular focus on young victims in their early 20s and younger. The guidelines draw on data collected from over 100 experts and are designed to account for the complex needs of a region that has rural, suburban and urban environments.

The protocol guidelines consist of 6 sections which give:

  1. Background and overview to labor trafficking.
  2. The universal protocol, which provides guidelines to the provision of an effective and comprehensive response to labor trafficking, including sections on collaborative responses, identification, and victim protection.
  3. A protocol implementation worksheet as a simple tool to assist communities plan their responses to labor trafficking.
  4. Sector specific protocol guidelines for use in conjunction with the universal protocol;
  5. Recommendations for changes to the law and policy to improve Minnesota’s response to labor trafficking victims.
  6. Appendices.

 

The report was funded Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and the Minnesota Department of Health. The content is solely the work of The Advocates for Human Rights.

The Full report can be found here.

UK Home Office: Transparency in Supply Chains – A Practical Guide

The UK Home Office’s Transparency in Supply Chains sector within in the Modern Slavery Act outlines the role of businesses and corporations in modern slavery prevention within their supply chains and networks. This Practical Guide provides an outline of what must be included in their annual modern slavery and human trafficking statements, and guidance on methods to produce accurate and credible documentation.

For the full UK Home Office: Transparency in Supply Chains – A Practical Guide, read here. 

A call for pan-European action to tackle forced labour and child labour in global supply chains

Anti-Slavery International has composed this report in attempt to highlight the holes in EU legislation that fail to account for the growing complexities of global supply chains. It provides an analysis of current EU systems and gives recommendations for a ‘new generation’ of global supply chain regulation.

For the full report by Anti-Slavery International, June 2018, read here. 

Human Rights Human Rights and Business 2017: Promoting Responsibility and Ensuring Accountability

The Sixth Report of Session 2016–17 on Human Rights and Business: Promoting Responsibility and Ensuring Accountability gives a detailed analysis of the role of business stakeholders and their obligation to uphold human rights. It outlines the UK government’s approach, including criticism of the National Action Plan and shortcomings of the Modern Slavery Act. It gives analysis of access to justice and recommendations for each public sector authority. Furthermore it outlines the proposed implications of Brexit in relation to business and human rights.

For the Sixth Report of Session 2016–17 by House of Lords & House of Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights Human Rights and Business 2017: Promoting responsibility and ensuring accountability, read here. 

Slavery on the High Street – Forced Labour in the Manufacture of Garments for International Brands

The report Slavery on the High Street aims to provide an analysis for stakeholders involved in eradicating modern slavery from the global supply chains from garment manufacturing to its sale. Part one provides a case study of the garment manufacturing sector of India and the manifestations of slavery that it perpetuates. The second part provides a series of responses, aiming to secure commitment to action by multilevel stakeholders against forced labour in the international garment industry.

For the full report June 2012 report by Anti-Slavery International, read here. 

Ending Child Trafficking in West Africa – Lessons from the Ivorian Cocoa Sector

The report Ending Child Trafficking in West Africa provides an in depth case study on the labour issues surrounding the cocoa sector in Cote d’Ivoire. It outlines interventions to address the worst forms of child labour on cocoa farms whilst exploring the underlying reasons behind the continued exploitation of young people in cocoa farms. It set out a succinct set of recommendations for international governments, the Ivorian government, industry people, civil society and donors and also coordinated action.

For the full report on Ending Child Trafficking in West Africa by Anti-Slavery International December 2010, read here.