The Modern Slavery Act was enacted in March 2015. It criminalises slavery, servitude and forced labour/compulsory labour and human trafficking. It makes provisions for the protection of victims and punishment of perpetrators. It is not without its flaws but it is a pioneering act that has the potential to bring about significant change in the way modern slavery is dealt with in the UK.
Of important recognition is section 54 of the Act, the Transparency in Supply Chains clause. This clause makes it compulsory for businesses that operate in the UK with a turnover of £36 million to disclose the efforts they have taken to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place in any of their supply chains and within their business. This information has to be disclosed in a slavery and human trafficking statement. If you would like to see the efforts your favourite company is making to ensure a clean supply chain, a Modern Slavery Registry with statements from companies required to disclose these efforts has been compiled by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. You can also find more information about what companies worldwide are doing to end modern slavery.
Modern Slavery Act 2015
Modern Slavery and Supply Chains Government Response – details of how the turnover decision of £36 million was reached.
The idea for this website and blog came to life in August on the DLR to Bank. On my way to my internship, I met a friend of my brother’s who worked in the same building I would be working in. We talked about career goals and aspirations. I told him how I wanted to specialise in Business and Human rights (modern slavery/human trafficking) once I qualify as a barrister. We also spoke about the opportunities that are out there and how it can be hard sometimes to secure the opportunities you want. Having applied to lots of jobs since my graduation in July and emailing various people to gain experience from them but hearing nothing back, I couldn’t agree with this more.
However, he reminded me that sometimes you have to create your own opportunities, build a space for what you want and invest time into it. He said something that stuck with me – ‘you always have something to give’. And he was right. Regardless of the qualifications you have, how far you are on your journey to where you want to be or the tools you have been given to make a change with, you always have something to give. So this is my something. I am committed to shedding a light on human trafficking and modern slavery. My hope is for it to be eradicated, for those victims who are treated as slaves to have the freedom they desire and I want others to be aware of this fight. So I have created a space where I can share this passion and hopefully encourage others to join the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery. It is prevalent in most industries such as food, fashion and technology. We use products every day that are tainted with this crime so it is a fight that affects us all.
This will be a space where you can find all things related to modern slavery – general information, articles on current issues, updates on the law, poetry, and in the future, films. I realised that not enough people know about the scale of modern slavery and all its forms, from human trafficking to forced labour to sexual exploitation and organ trafficking among others. I would be doing an injustice to all those held in slavery if I didn’t use my voice and the tools I have to publicise this crime and help to bring change.
I am hoping that this is the start of something great. I am hopeful that this platform will at least inform others about modern slavery and what we can all do to help. The first is talking about it. The more we talk about it, the more people will know about it. The more people know about it, the more attainable effective change is and I truly believe this change can happen.
So welcome to World Without Traffick! The blog will be fully up and running from January 2018 so look out for more posts in the new year and join the fight.
World Without Traffick