Modern slavery and human rights in business

Modern slavery: ensure supply chain transparency

Guide

Complex supply chains can make it difficult to guarantee that business goods or services have not been an output of slavery and human trafficking. Forced labour is present in many industries. Using sub-contractors and global supply chains, especially over multiple international borders, can make measuring the presence of modern slavery difficult to monitor.

Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they are not complicit in modern slavery through direct and indirect suppliers. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 aims to help businesses remove modern slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains, and places certain legal requirements on businesses with a total annual turnover of £36 million or more. Many organisations are taking active steps to promote ethical business practices and policies that protect workers from abuse and exploitation in their global supply chains. See modern slavery: write a slavery and human trafficking statement.

Businesses should take serious and effective steps to identify and eliminate modern slavery from their supply chains. For example, you should examine your supply chain and question suppliers on their ethics, working conditions and practices. See how to tackle modern slavery and the business benefits.

If you suspect exploitation you should take action - refuse to do further business with the supplier and report it immediately. See how to identify and report modern slavery and human trafficking.