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UK legislation obliges companies to report on slavery

9 April 2015

The UK government has taken bold steps to help stamp out slavery, passing legislation that requires companies to report on their actions to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains. The legislation is currently at the “Royal Assent” stage, in which the Queen formally agrees to make the bill into an Act of Parliament. A consultation has been launched by the British government to determine which companies will be covered by the Act.

“We welcome the passing of the Modern Slavery Act and hope it represents the first step to eradicating modern-day slavery in supply chains and to ensure this abuse comes to an end. For too long transparency in supply chains has been overlooked. We hope this new legislation will highlight the vital importance of diligent supply chain management in the UK and worldwide,” said David Noble, group CEO of CIPS, quoted in Supply Management magazine.

The legislation is unique in Europe and provides additional support to the victims of slavery. It also strengthens penalties, raising jail time for serious offenders from 14 years to life in prison. “The presence of modern slavery in today’s society is an affront to the dignity and humanity of every one of us. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 is an historic milestone,” said home secretary Theresa May.

For more information, visit Supply Management.