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Since 2010, California has required that certain companies provide information regarding their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from supply chains. Similar legislation is now popping up across the pond with the United Kingdom recently passing a law that calls for the reporting of steps taken to prevent slavery and human trafficking from entering supply chains. This is a clear sign that companies must continue their endeavors to both know their supply chains and report on what they are doing to help fight the exploitation of men, women, and children in countries throughout the world.

The U.K. Modern Slavery Act of 2015

California is no longer alone in its fight to eradicate human trafficking through supply chain monitoring. This year, the United Kingdom proposed a new law aimed at ending human trafficking that substantially overlaps with the California Transparency Act. Titled the U.K. Modern Slavery Act of 2015 (the U.K. Act), it received Royal Assent March 26, 2015 and is now an Act of Parliament. Reporting obligations under the U.K. Act should come into force later this month.

The U.K. Act broadly requires that any company that “supplies goods or services” and “carries on a business, or part of a business, in any part of the United Kingdom” publically disclose the steps it is taking to ensure slavery or human trafficking is not taking place in its business and supply chains. A slavery and human trafficking statement is either a statement of the steps the organization has taken during the financial year or a statement that the organization has taken no such steps. Similar to California, the U.K. Act requires that if the organization has a website, it must publish the slavery and human trafficking statement on the website and include a link to the slavery and human trafficking statement in a “prominent place on that website’s homepage.”
Continue Reading Transparency in Supply Chains Acts in the United Kingdom and California