Hogan Lovells Addresses Anti-Slavery with two key Reports
18 October 2016
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The London office hosted the launch of the first annual report from the UK Independent Anti-slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, on 12 October; and International Pro Bono Director Yasmin Waljee attended a service at Westminster Abbey to honour 18th-century abolitionist William Wilberforce, at which Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated her commitment to tackling modern slavery.
The report outlined an urgent need to:
- galvanise action in the fight against modern slavery
- ensure business leaders understand their duty to combat the crime of slavery, as set out in Section 54 of Modern Slavery Act (businesses with a turnover of more than £36 million must release an annual report outlining measures to prevent slavery in supply chains)
- develop and put in place a replacement to the current support system for victims of modern slavery (the National Referral Mechanism) that will be focused on victims’ recovery
- improve law enforcement response
- understand better the root causes and underlying vulnerabilities, as well as how traffickers operate, to prevent vulnerable adults and children from becoming prey to criminal human trafficking networks.
Louise Moore, partner at Hogan Lovells, commented:
"The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that nearly 21 million people are victims of forced labour. It is vital that business understands the risks associated with issues of forced labour and human trafficking in their operations and supply chains; and the requirements to take and demonstrate the steps they have taken to prevent such criminal activity."
London partner Louise attended the Sporting Chance Forum on Mega-Sporting Events and Human Rights on 13-14 October in Washington, D.C., where a report she and colleagues co-authored, titled "Corporate Liability for Forced Labour and Human Trafficking" (available next Tuesday 25th October) with the Institute for Human Rights and Business formed part of a wider discussion on the promotion of better mechanisms to protect human rights in the context of mega sporting events.
The report maps corporate liability for forced labour and human trafficking across eight jurisdictions including in Europe, U.S., Middle East, Asia and Africa; highlighting the legislation that applies to companies and what duties are expected in business operations and activities, including duties to detect, prevent, mitigate, report and remedy incidences of trafficking and forced labour.
John Morrison, Chief Executive, IHRB stressed the importance of targeting supply chains in the context of mega sporting events:
"Mega-Sporting Events, such as the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, are unique opportunities to communicate with the world. Let's start by making sure that the supply chains for such events respect human rights and are free of all forced labour and human trafficking."
International Pro Bono Director