BSI launches Modern Slavery Index
Written by staff reporter
Research conducted by the British Standards Institution reveals the scale of the modern slavery issue facing UK businesses. Its 'Human Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index’ suggests UK businesses are at particularly high risk of modern slavery. Russia, Slovakia, India and Pakistan, according to the Index, are all ‘severe risk’ source countries. Of the G7 nations, Italy is identified as a ‘high risk’ nation – partly due to the conflict in Syria. Greece and Turkey are additionally categorised as ‘high risk’ countries.
In the UK, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is highlighting the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, and the risk to business of finding examples of it in global supply chains. Several high-profile court cases have highlighted the irresponsible practices that are occurring across Britain.
The BSI's Michiko Shima believes the index is unique in that it looks at the intersection and relationship between source countries of displaced people, and the likelihood of being exploited upon arrival in destination countries.
The index was designed to help organisations to assess and mitigate the risks posed by slavery and trafficking. The presentation of tens of thousands of pairings of source/destination countries and their relative risk provides a broad understanding of the breadth of threats to global supply chains. These include human rights abuses, security threats and business continuity risks.
Kevin Hyland, OBE, The UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has said: “Evidence suggests labour exploitation is rife in the UK. Construction, agriculture, hospitality and seafood are core sectors in my work against modern slavery. Along with statutory agencies, government departments and NGOs, it is incumbent on companies to drive out any forms of exploitation.”