13 September 2017

Scale of Modern Slavery is greater than previously thought

Modern slavery has had a strong presence in the news the last few weeks, with the National Crime Agency (NCA) announcing they believe the scale of the problem in the UK is much greater than previously thought.

The UK has moved from low risk to medium risk in the 2nd edition of the Modern Slavery Index with construction pinpointed as a high risk sector. Michael Kerr, Director of Vulnerabilities said that the NCA believe that Modern slavery is in "every large town and city in the country".

An increased risk of slavery in EU supply chains has been highlighted and the construction industry is being urged to pay attention to risk assessing suppliers and commodity sources.

The vulnerability of migrants makes them a key target for exploiters and supply chains that employ high numbers of migrant workers, such as construction need to make sure that robust policies are in place to deal with the increased risk.

Stronger Together has a Tackling Modern Slavery in Global Supply Chains toolkit to help businesses prepare for this.

The CIOB has collaborated with Stronger Together and developed a specialist, in-depth industry programme supporting construction in tackling modern slavery. The CIOB have their own campaign to tackle the forms of bonded labour and slavery that exist in construction. These campaigns are supported by Build UK as the industry respond to this important issue.

For more information or to get in touch with Stronger Together please click here. Build UK and the Home Office guidance to assist the construction industry in safeguarding against illegal working, can be found here.