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UK: Anti-Slavery Commissioner expresses disappointment with minimum compliance by companies under Modern Slavery Act

Author: Kevin Hyland OBE, Anti-Slavery Commissioner (UK), Published on: 5 April 2017

"Letter to CEOs on Section 54 of Modern Slavery Act 1 year on", 4 Apr 2017

…[R]egulation is on an upward trajectory and the issue of slavery will remain firmly in the spotlight. Companies stuck in a mindset of ‘what’s the minimum I need to do’ are…putting human lives at risk…[and]…missing out on opportunities to use ethical business practices as a competitive edge.  Despite…positive steps forward since the Modern Slavery Act and a number of good statements being published, I remain disappointed that analysis has shown the quality to be weak overall.  Many fail to meet the minimum requirements...Even statements that do legally comply have a lot of room for improvement with many simply being reiterations of generic human rights policies…[C]hange takes time and I expect companies to be building on their statements year on year.  I want to see companies working to understand their industry specific risks…[and]…examining which commodities and operating regions are high risk and why…[whilst]…providing detailed information on what is being done to mitigate these identified risks...Many of the risks associated with both supply and demand are not unique to individual companies…Collective action is therefore vital....Now is the time for all sectors of society to act… 

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