UK 'falling behind' in global race to end slavery in supply chain

Wirral Globe - 23 Jan 2019
BRITAIN is "falling behind" in the global race to end slavery in the network between a company and its suppliers, a veteran MP has warned, as he led calls for changes to legislation on supply chain transparency.

Frank Field, chairman of the Government's Independent Review on the workings of the Modern Slavery Act, said there needed to be "tougher action" to ensure companies are taking their responsibilities to eradicate modern slavery from supply chains seriously.

In a report on the issue, the Independent Review suggested companies consider the entirety of their supply chains and publish modern slavery statements on a public repository.

It also proposes that companies should have a named board member who is accountable for the production of a modern slavery statement.

Mr Field, an Independent MP, said: "The Modern Slavery Act is due an upgrade. We set a kitemark with the original legislation but are now falling behind in the global race to bring an end to slavery in supply chains.

"Our interim report sets out clearly the steps that need to be taken for us to remain a world leader in this area. We need to be building accountability into the legislation all the way up to board level. We expect the Government to agree to these common sense proposals."

Reviewer Baroness Butler-Sloss added: "Our report offers clear and practical proposals for building on section 54 of the Act.

"By requiring organisations to create a full, mandatory statement we aim to ensure compliance. This, crucially, includes Government departments and the public sector. Eradicating modern slavery must be a truly cross-societal effort."