News story

Business and technology companies urged to unite against slavery

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Karen Bradley has today (Tuesday 3 March) called on business and technology leaders to work together to tackle modern slavery at a major two-day event being held in London.

The ‘TechCamp’ conference, jointly hosted by the Home Office, charity Unseen and consultancy firm Deloitte, will provide agencies, organisations and businesses with low-cost technology solutions to help companies make sure their supply chains are slavery free.

It comes after the government’s inclusion of a provision in the Modern Slavery Bill which requires large companies to disclose to the public the steps they have taken to ensure modern slavery does not have a place in their business. In February, a consultation was launched to provide interested parties with the opportunity to have their say on what size of business this new requirement should apply to and what the accompanying statutory guidance for businesses should cover. The Bill is due to become law by the end of the month.

Speaking at the opening of the event Minister for Modern Slavery and Organised Crime Karen Bradley said:

Work on this subject and the outcomes of this event will be pioneering. The Modern Slavery Bill is one of the first of its kind in the world, and the transparency in supply chains measure goes further than any other legislation.

How businesses respond to it will be crucial. I want to challenge them to look for the most innovative, the most exciting, the most far reaching and forward thinking solutions to the problem of modern slavery in supply chains.

Together I am confident that we will meet these challenges, and lift thousands of vulnerable people out of horrendous abuse.

The event is being held over two days (3rd – 4th March) and aims to:

  • identify supply chain risks that transcend industries and explore how technology and big data can address these challenges; And

  • develop risk mitigation plans, including proposals for future technological solutions that companies could use to build resilient supply chains.

CEO of Unseen Andrew Wallis said:

Tech Camp is a unique opportunity to bring together leaders from industry, technologists, government, statutory agencies, academics and NGO’s to crucially begin to work collaboratively together to tackle the complex issues surrounding modern slavery in supply chains.

As a CEO of Unseen that deals everyday with the shattering consequences of slavery on individuals, I warmly welcome the Modern Slavery Bill and in particular congratulate the government on the inclusion of Transparency in Supply Chains clause.

With a collaborative approach, hopefully modelled at Tech Camp, we can work towards a world without slavery.

The event is being held at Etc Venues in the heart of the City of London and is being attended by leading Technologists from large companies such as Apple and Google as well as business leads and non-governmental organisations.

Deloitte’s Managing Partner David Barnes said:

We are delighted to be able to convene leaders from business, charities, academia and government to work together to tackle the issue of modern slavery in supply chains.

The issue of modern slavery impacts everyone and takes place on a global scale. We therefore believe that is crucial to bring together such a range of attendees as only through working together can we really start to tackle the problem.

‘TechCamp’ is an initiative led by the U.S. State Department’s Office of eDiplomacy. They support events in cities around the world which bring leaders in the technology community together with private sector, public sector and civil society organisations to address particular social issues.