Millions of dollars are repaid every year to workers for fees they wrongly incur in the recruitment process. Is there a better way?
Of the 16 million people working in forced labour today, an estimated 50% are in debt bondage, often incurred through illegality and inflated fees during the recruitment process. This means that a large proportion of workers, the majority of whom migrate for work, are already victims or vulnerable to modern slavery before they even set foot onto a farm or factory floor.
Last week, the Australian government released guidance for businesses on the Australian Modern Slavery Act which passed January 1st 2019. New Zealand businesses have the opportunity to get ahead of the curve by responding quickly and decisively.
1st of January 2019 sees the launch of Australia's Modern Slavery Act which builds on Californian and UK transparency in Supply Chains legislation
The Act requires all organisations based or operating in Australia with a consolidated revenue of A$100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains. It offers the toughest measures to date in national legislation for tackling non-compliance.
Fifty Eight partnering on ambitious four-year programme to reduce and prevent the worst forms of child labour in Africa
The UK aid backed programme is set to help change the lives of over 12,000 children in Ethiopia, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The programme is funded by a substantial new UK aid package from the Department for International Development (DFID) and headed by international aid agency World Vision UK.
Fifty Eight and UN Global Compact UK are focusing on research and engagement with business at a local and global level to address the worst forms of child labour in supply chains.
The project will leverage cross-sector partnerships including NGOs, law enforcement and global corporations, while helping children advocate for their own rights.
Addressing modern slavery is becoming a business-critical issue for companies – for credibility with customers, investors, NGOs and the public – according to new research by Hult International Business School and The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). 77% of companies think there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring in their supply chains, up from 71% last year, and it is perceived to be more widespread – in particular in the UK, and at the farthest reaches of the supply chain.
Twice as many CEOs and other senior executives have become actively involved in addressing modern slavery in global supply chains since the Modern Slavery Act came into force on 29 October 2015.
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) and Hult International Business School investigated corporate leadership responses to modern slavery within leading companies ahead of the first anniversary of the Act. Their survey and report, Corporate Leadership on Modern Slavery, involved 71 prominent brands and retailers, including in-depth interviews with 25 companies.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires large firms who have operations in the UK to report on their efforts to ensure there is no slavery, forced labour or trafficking in their business or supply chains.
From 31 March 2016, all companies with global annual revenues of £36m or more will have to report against the transparency in supply chains requirement of the Modern Slavery Act.
At least 17,000 companies, both those based in the UK and international firms with UK operations who meet the revenue threshold, will need to produce an annual modern slavery statement which must be approved by the board of directors, and signed by a director or equivalent. Most organisations might think they are low risk, however, a recent study by Ashridge Business School and the Ethical Trading Initiative found that 71 per cent of companies believe there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some point within their supply chains.
The requirement for medium and large companies is clear - but how does the Modern Slavery Act impact SMEs, Social Enterprises, Charities and public procurement practices?
71 per cent of companies believe there is a likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some point within their supply chains, according to a new study launched today.
Modern Slavery Act 2015
Today the UK Government has confirmed that all companies with annual revenues of £36m or more will have to report against the transparency in supply chains requirement of the Modern Slavery Act.
This means that from October 2015 at least 12,000 companies, both those based in the UK and international firms with UK operations who meet the revenue threshold, will need to produce an annual modern slavery statement covering the steps they have taken to ensure there is no modern slavery in either their supply chain or their own operations.
Will the Modern Slavery Act achieve a level playing field for businesses and decent work in their supply chains?
This March saw the passing of the Modern Slavery Act in UK parliament. It includes a transparency in supply chains clause requiring large companies to publish an annual public statement on modern slavery. This should detail evidence of what actions they have taken to eliminate the risk and presence of modern slavery in their business or supply chains. The minimum threshold of profit, as well as the specific content that will need to be covered in the report is still being decided, but it will certainly include international companies with significant revenues in the UK, regardless of where they are based.