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Modern slavery in supply chains

The UK, United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, have made a set of principles for nations to adopt to tackle modern slavery in global supply chains. The UK Government says it and its partners can use their $600 billion of purchasing power as a lever to prevent forced labour in both the public and private sector.

Home Office Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins, said: “Denying people their freedom and fundamental human rights through modern slavery is a global tragedy. We as governments, businesses and citizens must do all we can to stop it. The UK and our partners are going further, showing leadership and setting out these new principles designed to drive out slavery from the supply chains of the goods and services we all use.”

Announced at the UN General Assembly, the UK is encouraging other countries to adopt the four principles.

Governments should take steps to prevent and address human trafficking in government procurement practices

analyse, develop and implement measures to identify, prevent and reduce the risk of human trafficking in government procurement supply chains
provide tools and incentives and adopt risk assessment policies and procedures that require their procurement officers and contractors to assess the nature and extent of potential exposure to human trafficking in their supply chains
take targeted action, including adopting appropriate due diligence processes, to identify, prevent, mitigate, remedy, and account on how they address human trafficking

Governments should encourage the private sector to prevent and address human trafficking in its supply chains

work in partnership with business, workers and survivors to set clear expectations for private sector entities on their responsibility to conduct appropriate due diligence in their supply chains to identify, prevent and mitigate human trafficking
provide tools and incentives to the private sector to encourage meaningful action and public reporting of their efforts, including through programmes policies or legislation

Governments should advance responsible recruitment policies and practices

advance responsible recruitment practices, including by implementing polices that incentivise and support responsible practice, and by support initiatives such as the ‘Employer Pays Principle’
contribute to the growing knowledge base of promising practices for protecting workers from fraud and exploitation in the recruitment process

Governments should strive for harmonisation

make reasonable efforts to share information and work with other committed governments to align existing and proposed laws, regulations and polices to combat human trafficking in global supply chains


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