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Image credit: Faltrego Ltd for Anti-Slavery International

New guidance addresses risks of modern slavery for displaced workers

Anti-Slavery International and La Strada International have launched new guidance designed for businesses to support the employment of displaced people and address the risk of modern slavery in their value chains.

Modern slavery in the private sector is all too common and needs meaningful global action. Around the world, 17.3 million people are estimated to be in forced labour in the private sector, occurring across value chains in the UK and all around the world. People who have been displaced by conflict are ever more vulnerable to human rights abuses such as forced labour and exploitation. These abuses may take place in the conflict affected area, along their migration route, or in their destination country. Businesses can do significantly more to prevent and mitigate the risk of exploitation to people displaced by conflict in their operations and value chains.

The sectors where the majority of adult forced labour takes place globally are the service industry, manufacturing, construction, agriculture (excluding fishing), and domestic work.

This guidance, titled ‘Human rights due diligence: risks of modern slavery for displaced workers’ demonstrates the need for heightened due diligence, using case studies of those countries receiving high numbers of people displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine: Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Moldova, Poland and Romania. People who have already fled unimaginable conditions are at high risk of exploitation within the workplace due to vulnerabilities including language barriers and less knowledge of their rights.

Key recommendations for businesses to guide due diligence activities to prevent and remedy the exploitation of displaced people are to:

  1. Engage with your workers to understand their recruitment journey
  2. Check that the accommodation and transportation is safe and secure
  3. Provide workers with their contract before they start work and training on their rights
  4. Ensure that displaced workers are able to access a meaningful grievance mechanism, with an effective remediation process
  5. Share the guidance document with your teams and at least to all Tier 1 suppliers in your value chains

Webinar: How to create an ethical supply chain in FM

Are you confident that your contractors and suppliers meet ethical labour standards and human rights obligations?

For many FM services, managing multiple third parties in the supply chain can be a complex challenge. And, in a sector that relies heavily on migrant workers and 65 per cent of FM services facing difficulties in sourcing workers (Q4 2022 RICS survey), exposure to exploitation and modern slavery is a very real risk. With the UK one of the biggest destinations in Europe for trafficking of workers, you need full visibility of the people you work with, so you can minimise your risks and identify which part of your supply chain is most vulnerable.

FMJ, in partnership with Alcumus, is pleased to bring together a panel of experts to discuss how to create an ethical supply chain in FM.

Taking place at 11am on Wednesday 21st of June, the webinar will discuss:

  • The regulations to be aware of that are aimed at preventing human right abuses.
  • How to gain greater visibility of modern slavery compliance in the supply chain by having a robust verification process in place.
  • Steps to creating a compliant, ethical supply chain.

To register for the webinar click here.

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