The Modern Slavery Act 2015 became law on the 26th March 2015 and is aimed to combat modern slavery in the UK.
Procurement Hub have a contractual and moral obligation to ensure as far as practically possible that our supply chain does not engage in any activity that is contrary to the Act. We require all suppliers to self-declare their position on the Modern Slavery Act at SQ stage of every tender opportunity.
Key elements of the Modern Slavery Act 2015
- It makes prosecuting the traffickers easier by consolidating the existing slavery offences
- It increases sentences for slavery offences
- It bans prosecuting victims of slavery for crimes they were forced to commit by their traffickers, such as drug production or petty thefts
- It introduces child trafficking advocates to better protect trafficked children
- It makes big UK businesses publically report on how they tackle slavery in their global supply chains
- It establishes an independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner to overlook the UK’s policies to tackle slavery
To ensure that our supply chain is adhering to the Act the procurement team have been carrying out Modern Slavery Audits on a random basis. We’ve been conducting audits for the past two years, but from 2020 onwards we’ll also be updating our blog pages with the results of these audits.
The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) is a great resource for understanding more about how to combat Modern Slavery in supply chains, and we used the information on the their website to assist with our audits. At each audit, we used a questionnaire based upon CIPS guidance and also took photos of the sites.
To date, we found that all the suppliers we have audited not only adhered to the Modern Slavery Act, but promoted their policies within the locations and across their businesses. Following on from these audits, we plan to carry out numerous audits throughout the year on a random basis with other supply chain parties and update our blog pages whenever these occur.
10 things you didn’t know about slavery in the UK
- The UK Government estimates there are tens of thousands people in slavery in Britain today
- In 2017, over 5,000 people were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery. Up one third from 2016
- This includes over 2,000 children
- But only 13% of these individuals were assessed to be modern slavery victims at the end of the year.
- Of the cases involving people from outside the EU, this figure goes down to less than 3%
- Referrals included possible victims from 116 countries
- 46% of people referred were in labour exploitation and 34% were in sexual exploitation
- Up to 34% of victims of slavery are estimated to be re-trafficked
- UK nationals make the biggest group of potential victims
- 2016 saw the first conviction and sentencing of a British businessman for human trafficking