Over 20,00 organisations have outlined how they are going to combat modern slavery – in compliance with a new Welsh code. Wales has become the first country to surpass the Modern Slavery Act, by introducing the Welsh Government Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains. Many organisations are now required to make a statement outlining their action towards stopping modern slavery. Open registry – tiscreport.org – is working alongside the Welsh Government, to provide the platform for businesses to log their anti-slavery action.
The Modern Slavery Act, while asking companies to prevent slavery in their supply chains, does little to monitor the actions and progress of these companies. Wales’ new initiative requires companies to provide statements and logs of their action online on tiscreport. Welsh Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, wrote to all large businesses in 2016 requesting requesting “accurate and transparent” reports on their stance on modern slavery annually, ensuring modern slavery doesn’t exist in their supply chain. He extended that he hoped this would increase standards in both British and International Labour Markets.
Public, private and publicly funded third sector organisations are now required to disclose anti-slavery statements. Statements should include how businesses are ensuring their supply chain is slavery free, and if any instances of slavery are found, how it is being remedied. Many organisations have already submitted their statements – amounting to an estimated £2.5 trillion combined company profit. Early participation from a staggering amount of organisations shows the country’s overwhelming support for the cause. With the first official deadline not until October 2017, other organisations have another 6 months.
Partnering with the Welsh Government for this endeavour is tiscreport.org. As an open registry, all members of the public will be able to search for companies’ anti-slavery policies. Registration for tiscreport is free for all small businesses as well as public sector organisations. However, large businesses will be charged a fee; half of all registration costs amassed will be sent directly to partner charity, Unseen. Unseen gives direct support to victims of modern trafficking and slavery via a 24 hour anti-slavery helpline.
Companies are offered help through tiscreport’s statement builder and supplier dashboard. Contained within the supplier dashboard will be a list of current suppliers which abide by the current legislations – allowing organisations to ensure their supply chain is slavery free.
As a self-funded registry, tiscreport will not require any funds from charitable organisations or public funds. This innovative business model works through Semantrica, a social enterprise, working together with Unseen – allowing maximum resources to be sent directly to the charity. Jaya Chakrabarti, CEO of tiscreport, said the company is “inspired” to work with the Welsh Government towards eliminating exploitation.