Scottish Businesses to benefit from global expert insight on tackling Modern Slavery

Thursday June 6th 2024

Shan Saba

Organiser Shan Saba from Scotland Against Modern Slavery

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Scotland Against Modern Slavery (SAMS), which focuses on the elimination of modern slavery and human trafficking has announced an accelerator series of webinars designed to help Scottish businesses tackle the issue in their supply chains.

Businesses in Scotland have supply chains, and often operations, which span the globe.The International Labour Organisation believes that 63% of forced labour happens in the private economy, which accounts for 16million of the 28million men, women, and children in forced labour.

In Scotland alone, 765 referrals were made to Police Scotland as potential victims of human trafficking last year – the highest number since records began. This is up from 600 in 2022.

Human rights and supply chain expert, Elaine Mitchel-Hill, has engaged with SAMS to develop and deliver a Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series on a pro-bono basis.

She said: “The introduction of the UK Modern Slavery Act in 2016 has had limited impact on tackling human rights abuses by corporations, and there are moves to review and address these, including the recent Commercial and Public Authorities Duty (Human Rights and Environment) Bill put forward by Baroness Young of Hornsey.

“Global environmental and human rights due diligence legislation is moving apace, signalled most recently by the passing of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive.

“The truth is that many businesses still do not know where human rights risks lie. Nor do they know where to begin to find out where risks lie. Too many have their heads buried in a ‘compliance’ only approach.

“Still more are not significantly motivated by potential prosecutions and fines – although this is changing. This accelerator series is a great opportunity to engage with global experts to learn and to share.”

Shan Saba, director at Brightwork and a founder of SAMS, said: “The stats don’t lie and this issue is not going away so we hope as many people as possible sign up to the SAMS Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series to learn more and thereby improve the situation.

“Slavery is a global issue so listening to and learning from our international partners will be invaluable in our efforts to help ensure compliance, eliminate modern slavery, and support human rights.

“Since inception, SAMS has brought together the Scottish Government with over 56 businesses, charities, and NGOs, with the core aims of raising awareness of the problem, supporting survivors into positive employment opportunities and protecting vulnerable communities from exploitation.

“All areas of Scotland have reported cases of human trafficking – anyone can be susceptible, and it is happening in our towns, cities and rural communities, as well as in our global supply chains.”

To sign up to the SAMS Human Rights in Supply Chain Accelerator Series then register Here

The first session took place on May 29th but you can now sign up for the second session, regardless of whether or not you have attended the first one.

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