It is important that a buyer carries out an appropriate level of due diligence early in the process to establish if what they are buying raises any concern about human rights and worker condition/exploitation. The table on the front page of this guidance identifies indicators of risk/opportunity.
A buyer should conduct their own research for up to date information on risks related to a particular commodity or service. This could include using the various sources of information available on-line, for example see the sources of advice/references below:
- check whether existing contractors are compliant with the Modern Slavery Act 2015, for example, have they published a slavery and human trafficking statement? Do these highlight any particular risks in their industry or sector? Buyers can check for statements on suppliers websites, or via an online registry: TISC Report or Modern Slavery Registry
- CSR Risk Check is an assessment tool that highlights risks for particular products and services, and its World Map shows known risks in each country
- Global Slavery Index is a country by county estimate of the number of people living in modern slavery today, it provides a country or regional analysis of the size of the problem and the actions governments are taking
- Walk Free Foundation focusses on global initiatives to drive change and build awareness around the complex and often hidden nature of modern slavery
- Freedom in the World's annual report ranks countries political rights and civil liberties
- Transparency International Corruption Perception Index highlights the progress countries are making in ending corruption
- An online tool Modern Slavery Map has been created that can be searched by location, sector, issues and organisation type for anti-human trafficking initiatives and projects
- CIPS have a number of ethical and sustainable procurement resources including eLearning and an online test which addresses sustainable procurement
- UK Government published eLearning: tackling modern slavery in public sector supply chains, and Modern slavery guidance for personal protective equipment (PPE)
- SEDEX have a number of relevant publications available including several briefings on modern day slavery, business ethics, and transparency
There are also various industry initiatives and campaigns to improve workers conditions and ensure that their fundamental rights are respected.
The information available from these sources can be used to help embed ethical standards into procurement. For example the Clean Clothes Campaign, Green Electronics Council, International Labour Organisation (ILO), Fairtrade Foundation and Ethical Trading Initiative, together with the criteria behind some of the certification labels available: Fairtrade, Ecolabel, etc.
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