This British Standard aims to provide organisations with guidance for managing the risk of modern slavery, including prevention, identification, response, remediation, mitigation, and reporting modern slavery in its operations, supply chains, and its wider operating environment. It is the first national standard on modern slavery.
BS 25700 on modern slavery can be adopted by all organisations, irrespective of sector, type, size, and nature of activity. The British Standards Institute (BSI) explains that the standard is written as a comprehensive organisational approach, and so is suitable for every member of staff of any organisation wishing to understand better what good looks like and how they can support their organisation’s drive to address modern slavery. The standard is of particular interest to:
C-Suite (e.g. executive level/leadership teams)
HR and training managers
risk and compliance officers
monitoring and surveillance managers
exploitation officers and anti-human trafficking outreach officers
lawyers involved in human rights, safeguarding, governance, and ethics.
The sectors most often associated with modern slavery are agriculture, construction, events, domestic work, hotels and accommodation, textiles, warehouses, and distribution but it’s important that people understand it can be found in any sector and any location.
Defining modern slavery as a set of specific legal concepts that include forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, slavery, slavery-like practices, and human trafficking; this new British Standard gives organisations guidance on managing the risk of modern slavery, including prevention, identification, response, remediation, mitigation, and reporting modern slavery in their operations, supply chains, and wider operating environment.
BS 25700 also encourages organisations to go beyond legal and statutory duties and address the wider risks associated with modern slavery.
BSI suggests that BS 25700 can help organisations to:
Effectively manage the risk of modern slavery.
Demonstrate human rights due diligence in response to numerous international, regional, and national initiatives driving organisations to act in an ethical and responsible manner, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs).
Comply with growing mandatory human rights due diligence and mandatory reporting requirements.
Strengthen overall risk management and improve efficiency.
Enter new markets and trade more easily.
Underpin organisational ESG commitments.
Build confidence and trust in the organisation’s probity.
BSI September 2022