Businesses across the world help us to thrive and strive in the modern world. However, pressure on businesses to increase products and services in a short amount of time can increase the likelihood of slavery. Supply chains are where slavery is most commonly found. As the demand for goods and services increases, companies are always searching for cheaper sources of labour. If the employee is getting paid under minimum wage, it is classed as slavery. If the employee is working in brutal conditions and is made to work through threats, it is classed as slavery.
However, businesses and firms (turning over £36 million in profits) in the UK must now prove that they have no links to slave labour under the Modern Slavery Act which was passed in 2015.
Another way businesses can avoid slavery is by consulting their supply chains and employees or owners. Getting businesses to audit their supply chains and send representatives to the front line where products are being made or employees are working. By travelling down the line of production of bed sheets, for example, and speaking to suppliers, they could identify potential risks of exploitation. They could then chose not to work with those suppliers and report their findings to the police, which could eventually decrease the demand for slavery. These firms and businesses can also partner with NGO’s and charities to hep put an end to this crime.
It is also important for us as consumers to put pressure on companies to audit their supply chains; to hold them to account and get them to actually act against supply chain slavery. We as consumers have so much power!