Raise Awareness This Anti-Slavery Day
Slavery is a word that brings up images of transatlantic ships, the buying and selling of people and brutal violence. All depictions, we believe, to be firmly rooted in the past. However, more people are classified as enslaved today than at any moment in history. Estimations believe this figure to be over 40million, with forced marriage, unpaid work, sex trafficking and domestic servitude just some of the many forms in which modern slavery takes shape.
Though organisations may not be directly responsible for modern slavery practices, complex international supply chains, and a globalised drive towards cheaper costs, has meant that modern slavery is never far away. Even the NHS, for example, has come under scrutiny for its purchasing practices in recent years, with rubber gloves and surgical instruments making headlines. It is therefore essential that we are all aware of the steps we can take to avoid encouraging such practices through our own actions.
This is why 18th October marks Anti-Slavery Day each year. The event is designed to raise awareness of modern slavery and the critical need to remove it from society.
There are some excellent videos and posters that companies can share with workers to raise awareness, as well e-leaning training and workshops, courtesy of Stronger Together, the multi-stakeholder business-led initiative aiming to reduce modern slavery.
ABHI, along with members, has worked constructively with the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care in the implementation of the Labour Standards Assurance Scheme (LSAS). The LSAS covers policies, procedures and practices that an organisation employs to identify and manage labour standards within their own business, as well as in their supply chains, to mitigate risks and drive improvement. These activities have led to significant improvements, but there is still more that can be done. We continue to work with Government departments and third sector organisations to highlight concerns, share best practice and help companies navigate this difficult situation.
If you are planning any activity to coincide with the day, be sure to use #AntiSlaveryDay to inspire other companies to get involved!