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Modern Slavery and Global Supply Chains – Risk Management Considerations


The UK Prime Minster Theresa May has described modern slavery as a “barbaric evil” and “the great human rights issue of our time”. She has declared that her Government will lead the way in defeating it.

The complexity of the modern supply chains makes modern slavery a real risk for many businesses. From every perspective – reputational, financial, and ethical, one of the most important challenges for companies in an increasingly competitive global market is that their supply chains do not involve exploitative labour.

In our Adviser, we take a look at the new Modern Slavery Act and its reporting requirements, and share our thoughts on the steps you can take to protect and safeguard your supply chain from the risk of modern slavery.

Some of our key recommendations include:

  • Take time to map and understand the risks, categorised as a minimum by country, sector, transaction, and business partnership.
  • Implement a programme to identify specific commodities or sectors where forced labour or extreme exploitation are apparent. Deep engagement with tier-two and tier-three suppliers is important.
  • Review procurement and due diligence systems and standards to ensure they are aligned with your obligations.
  • Establish clearly articulated policies and rules on how you will handle any resulting issues.