What is Modern Day Slavery?
Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights. It takes various forms such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person’s liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
One organisation particularly well positioned to explain how this practice persists is Anti-Slavery International, an organisation founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce in 1839. Anti-Slavery International has been fighting slavery for more than 180 years.
Trapped in slavery
Currently millions of children and adults are trapped in slavery in every single country in the world. In fact, recent studies have shown an estimated 40 million people are trapped in slavery around the world.
- 1 in 4 are children
- 71% are woman and girls
- Over 10,000 were identified as potential victims by UK authorities in 2019
Exploitation is hidden in plain sight, making the victims harder to spot. Around half of all exploitation (including child labour), happens in the operations and supply chains of businesses.
From the outside the job can look very normal, but people are still being controlled and are normally too scared to speak out. In most cases, they have their passports taken away from them and constantly threatened with deportation or their families being harmed. They can have their money taken away, forcing them into debt, making it harder for them to get out of the situation they are in. In extreme cases they can face violence and threats.
The good news is that international laws around supply chains and forced labour are increasing, aligning, and now improving. Towards the end of 2020, the UK Government announced significant potential upgrades to its transparency in supply chains legislation – widening its scope to include public sector procurement, mandatory reporting, board accountability and civil penalties.
Anti Modern Day Slavery Policy
The Modern Slavery Act (MSA) 2015 covers four activities, this policy covers all four activities, defined as below:
- Slavery – Exercising powers of ownership over a person
- Servitude -The obligation to provide services is imposed by the use of coercion
- Forced or compulsory labour – Work or services are exacted from a person under the menace of any penalty and for which the person has not offered themselves voluntarily
- Human trafficking – Arranging or facilitating the travel of another person with a view to their exploitation.
Organisations should acknowledge responsibility to comply with all principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and should perform due diligence to provide transparency throughout the organisation.