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Modern Slavery Act: an emerging picture of non-compliance

Paul Hodgson | August 29, 2018

A new report from the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner and the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab says that less than a fifth of U.K. agricultural companies comply with the Modern Slavery Act.

Section 54—“Agriculture and Modern Slavery Act Reporting: Poor Performance Despite High Risks”—of the Modern Slavery Act requires agricultural businesses with a turnover of £36 million (U.S. $45 million) or more to publish an annual modern slavery statement that explains what steps, if any, they are taking to address modern slavery within their operations and supply chains. Statements must also be signed by a director, approved by the board, and linked from the company’s website.

According to the report, by June 2017, just over a year after the Act’s requirements came in to force, only 50 percent of covered agricultural companies had produced a modern slavery statement, and only 38 percent of these statements complied with all three requirements. This gives...

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