UK government leads countries to tackle modern slavery in the supply chain

The US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK have developed a set of principles for nations to adopt in a bid to tackle modern slavery in global supply chains.

The principles follow a global call from Prime Minister Theresa May for action launched at the UN General Assembly last year, which now has over 80 endorsements.

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