Friday links: companies failing on modern slavery statements and preventing trafficking from Nigeria

Every Friday we share the latest news on modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK. Keep up to date by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, where we will share the article each week, or sign up to our monthly newsletter

Modern slavery: top companies fail to name supply chain risks

This week CORE - a UK civil society coalition on corporate accountability - published a report that looked at 50 modern slavery statements from large businesses like L'Oreal, Cartier, and Ferrero. They found that almost two-thirds of the companies hadn't made any reference to specific risks of modern slavery in their sector, suggesting they had not bothered to look at the issue in the in-depth way it requires. 

With an estimated 24.9 million people in forced labour globally, the level of complacency from major companies, particularly those that trumpet their corporate social responsibility, is startling. Genuine transparency about the problems is needed, not just more PR.
— Marilyn Croser, CORE director

'Path to illegal behaviour': UK accused of failing to press home anti-slavery law

The TISC Report, an online directory where modern slavery statements are collated, revealed that many companies who should be filing a report, are not doing so. Any company with a turnover of more than £36 million is required to produce a statement. According to TISC report there should be statements from 3939 companies, but 1683 have not provided one.  

Non-compliance is an alarm bell as to whether companies have all their ducks in a row and are operating within the law. Some companies will be accidentally non-compliant. Others are deliberately ignoring the act. The path to illegal behaviour begins with non-compliance.
— Jaya Chakrabarti, CEO of TISC report

Priti Patel pledges millions to fight slavery as she brands trafficking 'like terrorism'

The Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, was recently on a trip to Nigeria, where she met men and women who had been trafficked. Nigeria is the third most common country of origin for victims of modern slavery in the UK. The UK government recently pledged an extra £7 million for projects in Nigeria which are preventing trafficking. 

[Modern slavery] is like terrorism. If we don’t tackle the root causes, the victims will come to Europe via Libya and Italy, and those problems will manifest themselves on the streets of London.
— Priti Patel, Secretary of State for International Development

Trio jailed for trafficking and pimping vulnerable women

Two women and one man who trafficked vulnerable women around the South East of England and forced them into prostitution were found guilty this week. The investigation was conducted by Sussex Police, who particularly highlighted the contribution of a survivor who gave evidence at the trial. 

Often the women were moved to different towns around the South East where hotel rooms were booked for them, and then they were told who they would be seeing and what services they had to offer; they had no say in any of this. Each of the defendants vehemently denied the offences, however through exploring their movements, their finances and their lifestyle arrangements we were able to provide key evidence to the prosecution.
— Detective Inspector Andy Richardson

That's it for this week! Keep up to date with us throughout the week by following us on twitter (@theclewer) or Facebook, or sign up to our monthly newsletter