A poll by eProcurement specialists Wax Digital has revealed that 62% of people don’t know anything about the Modern Slavery Act 2015. What’s more, only 20% of respondents could say that their employer has a modern slavery statement.
From children being exploited in sweatshops abroad to labour exploitation in the agriculture sector in the UK, examples of modern slavery can be found everywhere. The UK marked Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October, and the UN Palermo Protocol reminds the public that when a person is acquired by means of deception or coercion for the purpose of exploitation; that is modern slavery.
The flagship Modern Slavery Act 2015 legislation was introduced to mandate businesses to disclose details of their supply chain practices as well as their commitments to end modern slavery.
Wax Digital recently surveyed over 500 respondents to assess awareness and understanding of modern slavery. The majority of respondents were in no doubt that modern slavery exists in the UK. And, 84% are keen to see the £36 million threshold lowered for businesses that must write, produce and outline what they intend to do to combat modern slavery.
Paul Ellis, managing director at Wax Digital thinks businesses need to assume more responsibility in the fight against modern slavery. He said:
“The data we collected from our study is a yardstick of how the public feels about modern slavery. But it also demonstrates that businesses – ourselves included – need to do more to teach their employees about the dangers of modern slavery.
“Businesses should assess whether their own operations contribute to modern slavery, and what they can do to stop it. Only by raising awareness of modern slavery, can we participate in the solution to reduce and end the practice for good.”