A campaign has been launched to stamp out slavery from company supply chains by CCLA - one of the largest charity fund managers in the UK - backed by the UK’s Investment Association and UN-backed investor group. The CCLA, manages £10 billion of investments for the Church of England, local authorities and charities.
Sadly, there are more victims of modern slavery in the world today (40 million) than ever before. Approximately 130,000 of the 40 million worldwide slaves are living in the UK and work in agriculture, construction, hospitality and more than £14 billion of goods produced from forced labour are imported into the UK each year.
The CCLA believes that although the Modern Slavery Act is a relatively new piece of legislation, not enough is being done by organisations to tackle the issue. The Act requires organisations (incorporated in the UK, or carrying business in the UK) with a turnover or group turnover of £36 million or more to report each year on what actions they have taken to tackle modern slavery within their operations and supply chains.
In November, the CCLA assembled 27 fund managers to discuss the slavery issue in UK organisations. They are calling for the UK investment industry to push businesses to develop better policies to tackle and identify modern slavery as well as asking for government pressure to enforce better reporting on the issue.
The CCLA Cheif Executive - Peter Hugh Smith - said that fund managers were “shocked” how mainstream slavery had become. The initiative will aim to initially target 25 hospitality organisations e.g. hotels and restaurants.
Peter Hugh Smith stated consumers must also contribute to this effort and be aware, for example, “when they get their car washed or when they go to a nail bar – these are areas where slavery happens in this country”.
The initiative will be supervised by a committee chaired by the CCLA Chief Executive. This committee will include the likes of representatives from the association, PRI, the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab.
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