The fight against modern slavery

The prime minister has committed the UK to leading the fight against the “barbaric evil” of modern slavery.

Writing in this weekend’s Sunday Telegraph, Theresa May marked the first anniversary of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, which she brought forward as home secretary, by announcing a new cabinet taskforce and overseas initiatives funded by £33m from the international aid budget. The new initiatives will ensure the Act makes the greatest possible impact on modern slavery in the UK and overseas.

Calling it "the great human rights issue of our time", Mrs May says the Act has established tough penalties for slave masters, including life sentences for the worst offenders, and stops those who are convicted of trafficking from travelling to a country where they are known to have exploited people. With additional protection and support for victims, there is also a transparency requirement for businesses to show that modern slavery is not taking place in their companies or their supply chains.

Rathbone Greenbank played an important role in lobbying for the clause on supply chain transparency to be included in the Act. This involvement has continued since the Act became law: we and other stakeholders have been working with the Home Office finalising guidance on how its provisions should be implemented.

Modern slavery: whose business is it?

Modern slavery was the focus of Rathbone Greenbank’s 19th annual Investor Day, held in May at the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Steve Chalke MBE from Stop the Traffik, Miriam Minty from the Home Office’s Modern Slavery Unit and Louise Nicholls from Marks & Spencer joined Rathbone Greenbank’s ethical research analyst, Matt Crossman, to discuss how charities, government, corporations and investors can help to eradicate modern slavery from the global economy. The day is summarised in the latest edition of the Rathbone Greenbank Review, which can be downloaded below.                                   

We are delighted that Mrs May chose to address modern slavery in one of her first initiatives as prime minister and believe her ongoing support will help the UK to continue to lead the world in dealing with this harrowing problem.

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