Business: Supply Chains

Home Office written question – answered on 20th July 2022.

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Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Shadow Minister (Climate Change and Net Zero)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that all businesses trading in the UK conduct due diligence to eliminate child labour from their supply chains.

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Minister of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

The landmark transparency provisions contained in section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 made the UK the first country in the world to require businesses with a turnover of £36m or more to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery, which includes child labour, in their operations and supply chains.

The provision seeks to create a race to the top by requiring businesses to be transparent and enable consumers, investors, civil society and others to scrutinise action and monitor progress. The Government has committed to strengthening the reporting requirements contained in section 54. This will require primary legislation and as announced in the Queen’s Speech, we intend to legislate in the forthcoming Modern Slavery Bill.

The Home Office’s statutory guidance to support organisations produce transparency statements recommends that statements should include the risk assessment and due diligence organisations undertook to prevent and tackle modern slavery.

In addition, the Government supports the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the international framework which sets out steps to guide business to do voluntary human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for, impacts on human rights.

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