‘When people are free to succeed, business succeeds’ by Richard Branson, Thomson Reuters Foundation News

Blog description:

In this blog Richard Branson expresses his and his company’s support to end modern slavery as well as gender-based violence (GBV) and explains why modern slavery and GBV are connected issues. Within the blog there is also a link to Virgin’s Anti-Slavery Policy and The B Team at Virgin whose mission is ‘to build momentum and action around this important responsibility in the private sector’. Richard emphasises the power of business and business leaders to end modern slavery and GBV.

Read the blog here: http://news.trust.org/item/20180516114812-ky9xe/

‘Tackling modern slavery in global supply chains’, by Kevin Hyland OBE, The British Academy

Blog description:

This blog post is written by the UK’s first Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland OBE. This is an incredibly powerful, informative and inspirational read. The closing sentence states, We have incumbent upon us a moral duty to stop privileging price and profit over the basic wellbeing and rights of people who are just like you and me, but happen to have been born into different circumstances.’ Kevin Hyland focuses in particular on the role of the private sector in this blog post. He states, too often in my role as Commissioner, I have been told that solving forced labour in the private sector is ‘impossible’, particularly with regard to the Global South. It is not; rather, this is wilful blindness to the solutions needed’.

Read blog here: https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/blog/tackling-modern-slavery-global-supply-chains

‘Modern Slavery’ by Emily Scott, Wellbeing for Women

Article description:

Emily is a volunteer with Stop the Traffic and is currently working in Cambodia at the United Nations Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

In this article Emily looks at the influence of governments, businesses and consumers on modern slavery, contextualises modern slavery, and discusses what needs to be done to combat this human rights violation. She particularly focuses on the role of business, highlighting that of the world’s top 100 economic entities, 69 are corporations, and just 31 nation states, demonstrating the immense power of business in the world. Also noted is the importance of legislation in this sphere and the impact of consumer perspective.

Read the article here: https://wellbeingforwomenafrica.rit.org.uk/modern-slavery

‘‘Body of work’ needed on slavery in supply chains’ by Darragh O’Keeffe

Article description:

As demonstrated by Darragh O’Keefe there is a lack of awareness of the existence of modern-slavery not just in the community but also by sourcing businesses and procurement professionals. Further, as important as increased awareness is increased preparedness to address the issue. The Commonwealth’s Modern Slavery Bill and the NSW Modern Slavery Act that was passed in June have both helped raise the issue’s profile, but in a survey conducted by Deloitte with sustainability managers, one third were unaware of the Modern Slavery Act and many thought there was only ‘a possibility’ of modern slavery in their supply chains. Further, a survey conducted in May by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) showed ‘one in five [organisations] did not know who in their organisation was ultimately responsible’ for the issue of modern slavery in their supply chains.

This said, despite a lack of awareness and preparedness, informed organisations are ‘tending to embrace the legislation’, says Mark Lamb, general manager of CIPS Australasia. Dr Black from Deloitte states that one of the key challenges for organisations will be ‘getting visibility on supply chains’. The article goes on to discuss the importance of technology to address this issue as well as the predicted transformation of current procurement manager’s processes.

Read the article here

‘Ending modern slavery in business is possible. Here’s how’ by Matthew Friedman

Article description:

In this article, Matthew Friedman discusses the increasing importance for businesses to address forced labour in their supply chains; besides being ‘plain wrong’ there is legislation being enacted around the issue, a growing number of concerned lawsuits, and media and consumer attention

The questions then becomes, how to address forced labour in businesses’ supply chains. Friedman presents a framework ‘for a coordinated and effective private-sector response to slavery’ that does not make businesses ‘choose between what is right, what is sustainable and what is profitable’.  With a unified strategic plan Friedman says that slavery can be eliminated in private sector supply chains without a negative impact on profitability by 2028.

Throughout the article Friedman draws parallels between the mission to land man on the moon and the mission to eliminate supply chain slavery. He says, ‘like the man-on-the-moon goal, this is certainly ambitious, but it can be done.’

Read the article here