Modern Slavery

ADAS conduct applied research and consultancy services to help clients to understand what parts of their supply chain are most vulnerable to instances of modern slavery; draft policy documents (such as their slavery and human trafficking statement); and introduce cost-effective programmes with their suppliers or other industry actors to prevent modern slavery.

 

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms.

According to the latest estimates by Alliance 8.7, some 16 million people around the world are victims of forced labour exploitation in the private sector (not including sexual exploitation). Slavery is not a thing of the past, and still occurs in every country in the world.

Modern slavery can take many forms, from forced labour where people are forced to work through violence or intimidation, for little or no payment, to early or forced marriage leading to sexual or domestic servitude.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 puts businesses under increasing pressure to demonstrate that their business and supply chains are free from modern slavery (forced labour and/or child labour) and human trafficking. As part of this many businesses are required to produce a “slavery and human trafficking statement” for each financial year. This statement should detail what steps, if any, the organisation has taken to ensure its own business and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

The food and drink industry relies on complex global supply chains and large numbers of people to deliver its products, from all corners of the globe. This makes the industry particularly vulnerable to cases of modern slavery, and businesses may be unaware of malpractice related to the production of its goods and services.

Through implementing a clear policy, including codes of conduct or contractual provisions that are communicated down the supply chain, businesses can help to demonstrate that they have taken effective steps to ensure their supply chains are free from modern slavery and human trafficking. However, a clear policy alone may not always be enough and it is critical therefore that businesses understand where their supply chains are most vulnerable. For example, certain factors such as inadequate legislation in-country, labour arrangements and use of third party agencies can indicate parts of the supply chain at a higher risk.

ADAS can help businesses to understand their supply chains, identify the exact sources of raw materials, and assess what the labour arrangements are beyond their immediate suppliers. Once the business understands where it is most vulnerable, effective controls can be put in place to reduce the risk. Usually a combination of approaches, working in partnership with suppliers are most effective. This may include the use of auditing, voluntary standards and working with suppliers to increase their capacity to identify and tackle the problem.

Conor McMahon
Senior Consultant, Sustainable Food and Farming
conor.mcmahon@adas.co.uk
+44 (0) 1954 268214

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ADAS is a trading name of RSK ADAS Ltd.  RSK Group is the UK’s largest privately-owned multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy and one of the fastest growing companies of its kind in Europe. With operations in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, our comprehensive, solutions-led consultancy services help organisations around the world conduct business in a compliant, and environmentally-responsible manner

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ADAS is the UK’s largest independent provider of agricultural and environmental consultancy, rural development services and policy advice. ADAS has a unique combination of insight and practical experience, underpinned by robust, informed, science-based information that allows us to meet the needs of both our domestic and international clients. Our great strength is our breadth and depth of expertise spanning the entire environmental sector.

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