After pressure from Labour, the Government have brought forward a number of significant and welcome amendments designed to bring an end to modern day slavery, particularly in supply chains.
There has been a growing awareness that slavery and forced labour are increasingly linked to the production of goods for major UK companies. In recent years, we have seen:
- 1200 people killed in the collapse of the Rana Plaza, many of whom were making clothes for UK stores.
- Prawn fishermen confined to a lifetime of slavery which was routinely reinforced by beatings, torture and execution-style killings
- Small children being paid pennies a day to sew sequins on children’s clothes
Although many large retailers claim to be implementing policies to tackle slavery in their supply chains, it is hard to see whether any real progress had been made. Labour are seeking to introduce mandatory standards for reporting, forcing companies to adopt standard procedures for the disclosure of the measures they have put in place to eradicate modern day slavery from their supply chain. These measures would create a level playing field between companies as it would enable consumers and investors to directly compare the practices of different companies.
Phil said: "This is welcome news and represents a positive step towards tackling the heinous crime of human trafficking. Labour will continue to press the Government to ensure that this bill really delivers for victims and brings about the changes necessary to stamp out modern day slavery"