Modern Slavery and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains: Roles and Responsibilities of Public Buyers

Policy and practice insights for Higher Education Institutions in the framework of their obligations under the UK Modern Slavery Act

Author: Dr. Olga Martin-Ortega, School of Law, University of Greenwich

From 2016 UK commercial entities, including Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), have to report on their efforts to identify, prevent, mitigate and potentially remediate modern slavery in their supply chain under the Modern Slavery Act (MSA). The relevant section of the MSA, Section 54, entered into force in October 2016 and the first round of Slavery and Human Trafficking Statements is to be completed at the end of January 2017. Most of the statements during the first year fall short of what is expected of institutions. There is still a steep learning curve for HEIs before they can claim to understand their supply chain and its human impact.

This Policy Paper provides insights from the first year of reporting under the MSA and guidance for HEIs in the development of human rights due diligence frameworks so that they can rise to the challenge of their responsibilities in the wider effort to combat modern slavery both home and abroad.

The Policy Paper is available below and can be downloaded here.