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Modern Slavery Bill - supply chains

Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the Modern Slavery Bill and supply chains:

 

"Thank you for your email in connection with your concerns regarding the Government’s Modern Slavery Bill and in particular the proposals to require companies to report on their supply chain.


Modern slavery is a heinous and all too prevalent crime and the complicated nature of tackling it requires special legislation. I am therefore very pleased that Parliament is taking action on this important issue and I fully support the introduction of this piece of legislation.  However, I do believe the Bill could go further in a number areas to help victims and survivors of modern slavery.

I am pleased that the Government has eventually recognised that more needs to be done on the key issue of adopting mandatory reporting of efforts to eradicate slavery in the supply chain.  As you may be aware, the Government introduced an amendment at the Bill's Report Stage in the House of Commons that includes a requirement for companies to report on the steps they have taken to ensure their supply chain is slavery free.

This amendment - which has now been added to the Bill - follows strong campaigning from inside and outside of Parliament.  You may be interested to know that Labour’s Shadow Frontbench also tabled an amendment on this issue at Commons Report Stage that would have introduced minimum reporting requirements on large public and privately-listed companies, and allowed greater accountability and transparency. This amendment also built on proposals put forward by my parliamentary colleagues on the Bill Committee and cross-party Joint Committee, who repeatedly pressed the Government on the importance of addressing this issue as the Bill progressed.

I welcome the fact that the Modern Slavery Bill has been strengthened and now includes steps to improve the reporting of supply chains, however, much of the detail of the Government's amendment still needs to be finalised and questions remain about enforcement and comparability. I hope these concerns can be addressed as the Bill continues its passage through Parliament.  More broadly, I believe this Bill could still be further improved, for example to better protect trafficked children and to prevent exploitation.

Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.  I can assure you I will work with my Labour colleagues to continue to press the Government on these very important issues. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further help with this or any other matter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dawn Primarolo

Labour MP for Bristol South"

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