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Modern Slavery Risk

In this post we identify Modern Slavery Risk and what you can do about it.

Modern slavery risk - intelligence & risk solutions

It is estimated 50 million people are currently enslaved globally. The UK is no different to other nations with this problem. You can see the problem first-hand at roadside hand car wash businesses, textile businesses and bed and mattress manufacturers in the UK. There will be others.

Modern Slavery Risk comes not only from employing people on very poor wages in the UK. It is more likely to be engaged for those that use offshoring in the manufacturing sector. British businesses have been caught in Modern slavery scandals causing reputational risk in the UK.

Tesco, has recently been recognised for its policy on Modern Slavery by the CCLA, an investment company that pursues ethical investing models. But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for the giant grocer. It was accussed in 2022 of using slave labour in Thailand to produce denim wear.

Good ESG principles will reduce Modern Slavery

The risks as the concept of ESG grows in large corporate boardrooms are self evident. Young adults are more tuned-in to bad corporate behaviour and this can be seen in study after study as the educated young adult prefers companies that recognise the environment, social causes and good governance.

In fact, the growth of the so called Woke agenda epitomises the connected nature of today’s young adult. They have never known a world without digital connection and can mobilise opinion and action very quickly indeed. Boardrooms that fail to acknowledge the power of this cohort of customers face a difficult future.

No longer will virtue signalling adverts or greenwashing work. Businesses have to be seen to be part of the solution. Especially the corporate giants that pollute the planet. It is estimated just 57 companies are responsible for 80% of global emissions. This kind of statistic sticks and as the young move through their work lifecycle those companies will face eradication if they are not perceived to be part of the solution, let alone perceived to be THE problem.

But what can they do in boardrooms to reduce Modern Slavery Risk?

The first thing is to recognise deficiency. Deficiency in understanding the problem and how to go about solving it. Expertise, frequently from a younger generation, can be found inside those very same businesses. The use of those employees to report breaches of any manner of ESG problems is critical to even mid-size businesses. From potential environmental transgressions, to employee discriminations and modern slavery practices, all can be reported on internally if the right mechanisms are in place to do so anonymously.

Channels to report anonymously must be externally hosted and not available via internal clicks on computers. This is critical to get the IT savvy young to report. Because it isn’t rocket science to understand they may want to report anonymusly and if the expectation is they will do so via an internal mouse click, form or web page, they won’t.

Contact us to help you implement your Modern Slavery Policy or download the free template on our website here.