British companies already exposed by Modern Slavery Act
It’s been just over a year since the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced, yet many brands are still failing to take the necessary steps to ensure that human trafficking and modern slavery do not occur within their businesses or supply chains.
In January this year, the first UK-based business was convicted of human trafficking offences. Mohammed Rafiq, whose company supplied beds to several household-name retail giants, was found guilty of using Hungarian immigrants for slave labour. An investigation revealed that, despite carrying out regular audits, none of his customers knew about the unethical practice.
The case is just one of many, and today’s increasingly complex multi-tier supply chains means that many brands are unable to control where product components are sourced from, and therefore guarantee that conditions under which their goods are produced meet with their ethical policies. However, Segura Systems, which provides a cloud-based supply chain mapping and monitoring service says the process of ensuring ethical compliance doesn’t need to be chaotic:
“We work with brands to give them absolute clarity of their manufacturing supply chain so that they can weed out unauthorized and unethical suppliers, and track compliance on an order-by-order basis. This not only allows them to ensure their ethical standards are met, but also drives up quality.”
Segura’s software gives an end-to-end view of the complete manufacturing supply chain. A graphical representation the entire supplier network is created, confirming exactly what each and every supplier provides. Once the network is finalised, the software can also trace what is ordered and when by each node of the supply chain, as well as issuing notifications when orders are shipped. Each order must be met by a nominated supplier, who in turn can only subcontract work to other companies specified by the business. As a result, Segura’s software can trace the journey of each individual order, product and component in real-time.
It’s this level of oversight that is helping companies to meet external legislative requirements, such as those outlined under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It’s also something that will become even more crucial in the coming weeks and months when many British businesses will have to publish their Modern Slavery Act statement, detailing exactly how they track and maintain an ethical supply chain. This means that transparency really will be key in 2016.
Segura are running a seminar, focused on helping brands create an actionable Modern Slavery Act statement, at the Langham Hotel in London on 22nd June – more details here:
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