Tackling Modern Slavery
The UK’s maritime industry makes an immense contribution to the prosperity of the UK economy and as with all industries in the modern responsible world, is working to address the issue of modern slavery. Port operators across the country are vetting their supply chains and supporting the UK Border Force as it increases checks.
Slavery – often associated with times gone by, or as only occurring overseas – can manifest itself in many forms, going unnoticed within the booming industries around the country. People are trafficked into the UK from overseas and forced into labour or crime, having been promised a better life in the UK. Most commonly affected areas include construction, agriculture and manufacturing.
Modern slavery is a very real and serious issue facing the country. Ports – particularly sea ports – are known to be used for entry into the country for human trafficking. With the vast majority of Associated British Ports (ABP)’ operations being carried out within the UK itself, the risk of modern slavery occurring is low, but as with all responsible businesses, it is committed to operating ethically and doing all it can to assist authorities as they tackle such issues.
In light of the growing issues of modern slavery, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was brought into force. This legislation highlighted the need for large UK businesses to publicly report on how they tackle slavery in their global supply chains – something which ABP has welcomed and supported.
ABP has made significant strides in measuring key suppliers in those parts of the supply chain deemed as high-risk, and has introduced an ABP supplier code of conduct which sets out a clear set of ethical principles which ABP requires its suppliers to adhere to. New suppliers undergo rigorous due diligence checks as part of the selection process, which include specific questions on dealing with modern slavery issues.
ABP works closely with the relevant authorities on issues relating to combating modern slavery, and is committed to ensuring that no slavery, forced labour or human trafficking is taking place in its supply chain or any other part of its business; reinforcing its commitment to operating in an ethical manner and with integrity.