Government departments publish modern slavery statements for the first time

Photo by James Newcombe on Unsplash

Ministerial government departments have, for the first time ever, voluntarily published their first annual modern slavery statements setting out how they are tackling the potential risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.

The statements, including the Home Office’s statement, can be found on GOV.UK and the modern slavery statement registry.

The government has also published a progress report which highlights how government has met the goals set out in the 2020 UK government modern slavery statement.

The progress report sets out what government has successfully delivered, including:

  • the appointment and upskilling of director-level anti-slavery advocates across government to tackle potential risk of modern slavery in their supply chains
  • work with over 3,000 suppliers to strengthen their modern slavery due diligence as of 1 October 2021, compared to 1,104 as of March 2020
  • the launch of the Social Value Model (SVM) in January 2021, which sets out how new central government procurements need to take account of social value criteria in the award of contracts
  • successfully reaching over 1,000 public sector officials through workshops and events on the key steps to tackle modern slavery

Additionally, the government has also published the modern slavery annual report, which covers key developments across the UK to tackle modern slavery.

The annual report highlights the government’s response to modern slavery in the period between October 2020 to the end of September 2021, under five key areas including law enforcement, prevention, supply chain transparency, victim support and international engagement.

The report highlights key achievements this year, in addition to the modern slavery statements, including:

  • The launch of a government registry for transparency statements.
  • A further investment of £1.4 million into the policing response, bringing the total to £15 million since 2016.
  • Agreement by G7 members to join action on forced labour in global supply chains.
  • The roll-out of the Independent Child Trafficking Service to two-thirds of local authorities.

The government has committed to publishing a new modern slavery strategy in 2022.