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.