The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires commercial organisations operating in the UK with an annual turnover above £36m to produce a statement setting out the steps they are taking to address and prevent the risk of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.
A number of key stakeholders that were influential in securing the inclusion of a Transparency in Supply Chains (TISC) clause in the Modern Slavery Act advocated for the Government to create a central database or ‘registry’ that would host all modern slavery statements. We remain convinced that a registry is essential to enable the public to review the statements, hold companies to account for compliance with the legislation, and to evaluate companies’ commitment and actions in tackling the risks and incidence of modern slavery.
The Government has been consistent in stating that it will not establish this central registry, but agree that it would be valuable
In light of this, a number of key stakeholders – the ETI, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Anti-Slavery International, FLEX, KnowTheChain, Humanity United, Freedom Fund and CORE Coalition – have agreed that a transparent, free and open access registry is critical and urgent, and are discussing how to make this a reality. We want a registry to drive increased transparency, lesson learning and continuous improvements in reporting and responses by companies to tackle modern slavery. We have also communicated with the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner who supports this aim.
We are keen to build on what exists already and to benefit from open access statements that are in the public domain – posted on company websites or other sites.
We will provide an update on progress in September.