Modern Slavery Statement Registry Updated to Combat Human Trafficking

Image credit, AnjaAix la Chapelle

The United Kingdom has taken strides to combat human trafficking by updating its Modern Slavery Registry, urging businesses to step up in the fight against this pervasive crime. This initiative aims to bolster transparency and accountability among corporations in response to the enduring challenge posed by trafficking, particularly in supply chains.

The revamped registry encourages UK-based companies to promptly submit their annual statements and ensure the publication of robust reports. These statements play a crucial role in reducing forced labor within UK supply chains by empowering consumers to make informed choices.

Given the complexity of global supply chains, no sector or business can claim immunity from the risks associated with human trafficking. Therefore, every business must take responsibility and address the issue within its operations.

Key updates to the registry include:

  • One-off email notifications to registered companies that have not uploaded a statement since its inception in 2021.
  • Annual email reminders to registered companies, prompting them to submit their latest annual statement.
  • Timely reminders sent one month, two weeks, and one week before the deadline for statement submission.
  • Modifications to the statement summary and search pages, enabling clearer visibility of the sections completed by a company, thereby facilitating informed decisions by consumers.

Under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, certain companies are legally obligated to publish statements if they meet specific criteria, including being a ‘body corporate’ or a partnership, operating a business in the UK, supplying goods or services, and boasting an annual turnover of £36 million or more.

Apart from fulfilling legal obligations, publishing statements can yield several business benefits, including safeguarding and enhancing an organization’s reputation and brand, expanding its customer base as ethical standards become increasingly paramount, fostering investor confidence, enhancing staff retention and loyalty, and promoting the development of more resilient and ethical supply chains.

Businesses seeking guidance on publishing an annual statement can refer to the government’s comprehensive resources to ascertain whether their organization falls under the legal mandate and to facilitate the uploading process to the registry.

The updated registry underscores the UK’s commitment to eradicating human trafficking. It highlights the indispensable role of businesses in this collective endeavor. By fostering transparency, accountability, and ethical practices, the nation endeavors to create a future where the scourge of trafficking is consigned to history.