A Modern Slavery Statement is a document issued by organizations, typically larger companies and public sector bodies, to outline their commitment and actions to combat modern slavery and human trafficking within their operations and supply chains. These statements are often required by law in various countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, and are considered an essential part of corporate social responsibility.
Introduction and Commitment: The statement usually begins with a clear and unequivocal commitment from the organization to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. It emphasizes the organization’s values and ethical stance.
Organizational Structure: This section provides an overview of the organization’s structure, including its business activities, subsidiaries, and supply chain relationships.
Policies and Procedures: The statement outlines the policies and procedures in place to prevent and address modern slavery, including recruitment practices, labor standards, and supplier engagement.
Risk Assessment: Organizations typically assess the risks of modern slavery within their operations and supply chains. This includes identifying high-risk areas, such as geographic regions or industries.
Due Diligence: The statement describes the steps taken to conduct due diligence on suppliers and business partners to ensure they adhere to anti-slavery principles.
Training and Awareness: It details the training and awareness programs in place to educate employees and stakeholders about modern slavery risks and how to report concerns.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Some statements include KPIs that measure the organization’s progress in addressing modern slavery. These could relate to supplier audits, incident reporting, or other relevant metrics.
Incident Reporting: The statement explains how individuals, including employees and suppliers, can report suspicions of modern slavery within the organization or its supply chain.
Response and Remediation: It outlines the organization’s approach to responding to reported incidents and its commitment to remediate any issues identified.
Collaboration: Many statements highlight partnerships with NGOs, industry associations, or government bodies to collectively address modern slavery.
Future Plans: Organizations may provide insights into their future plans and initiatives to further combat modern slavery, including improvements to policies and practices.
Signatory and Approval: The statement is typically signed by a senior executive or board member to indicate the organization’s commitment and approval.
Modern Slavery Statements are an important tool in the global effort to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking. They promote transparency, encourage responsible business practices, and help hold organizations accountable for their supply chain activities. Companies and organizations are encouraged to update their statements annually and continuously improve their efforts to combat modern slavery.