Ikea, John Lewis and The Body Shop are among the companies that are going beyond audits

The companies leading the battle against modern slavery are going far beyond auditing and working in collaboration with others to tackle it deep in their supply chains, anti-slavery groups say.

Phil Bloomer of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre says companies that perform audits where suppliers are given weeks to prepare will almost guarantee that any human slavery that exists will not be picked up by auditors. “More and more can only be seen as an excuse for turning a blind eye to the risks of slavery,” he says.

But unannounced audits are not enough. Bloomer emphasises that companies need to identify salient risks through research, develop action plans to address them, and send strong messages down their supply chains that slavery will not be accepted.

“Crucially, there has to be collaboration,” he told Ethical Corporation’s Supply Chain Summit last month. “Each company on its own at the second or third tier has very little leverage. They are producing for everyone. But if there is collaboration between companies, that’s where they can take concerted action.”

Focus on recruitment fees

In the UK and wider afield, such platforms are starting to spring up. These include Stronger Together,...

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supply chains  anti-slavery  Human rights  modern slavery  Body Shop  John Lewis  Ikea  partnership 

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