Worker Background Checks in UK May Not Detect Slavery

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Forced LaborHuman TraffickingLaw & PolicyPreventionSupply ChainWorker Empowerment

The BBC reports that researchers say businesses in the UK may be hiring forced labor, because companies do not have enough information about their staff.

“Firms are realizing that often they do not fully trace the backgrounds of workers, a study by the University of Sheffield and University of Bath found. It means their checks are not ‘fit for purpose’ to uncover modern slavery, according to the researchers. The government said further changes for businesses might be needed.”

Home Office Minister Sarah Newton explained that the country was “considering what further steps may be necessary” in order to make certain that all big businesses take action to eliminate forced labor.  That consideration followed a warning last month that said modern day slavery was “far more prevalent than previously thought”.

The National Crime Agency said current estimates of of 10,000-13,000 victims were just the “tip of the iceberg” in the UK.

“Prof Andrew Crane of the University of Bath, the report’s lead author, said: “Companies have little hope of detecting modern slavery practices unless they adopt a new approach that focuses specifically on their labor supply chains. They need to be able to trace the origin of their employees in the same way as most now can for their products.””

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