Five years ago, the UK Modern Slavery Act introduced transparency in the supply chains (TISC) measures requiring big companies to report on their efforts to prevent modern slavery in their supply chains.
The reporting requirement introduced by the Modern Slavery Act was designed to allow consumers and civil society to exercise accountability over companies that effectively control complex global production networks and commodity chains. These requirements have been criticised for lacking teeth and the effectiveness of the reporting model has been called into question in various studies, including during the Independent Review of the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2019.
Although the TISC requirements have pushed many organisations to release information about their supply systems, it is not clear how civil society, governments and regulators might be able to use this information to hold firms accountable for human rights breaches in their supply chain.
The focus of this project is to assess civil society reports evaluating the corporate Modern Slavery Act statements to provide an overview of how the TISC measures have performed to date and assess what regulations and interventions could be considered by policy-makers to strengthen section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 on transparency in supply chains.
The project will also take a wider view to compare the corporate regulations in other areas such as bribery, gender pay gap or environmental impact, both in the UK and other jurisdictions, to gather evidence relating to what the regulations require companies to do and how it is enforced.
Project leads: Steve New & Lisa Hsin, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights.