Launching Shiva Foundation’s New Self-Assessment Scorecard and Supporting Guidance

As we know, Modern slavery is such a hugely complex problem, with millions of people being exploited and abused across the world. It should have no place in our society.  Sadly, recent estimates of people being exploited globally have increased to 49.6 million people, including 27.6 million people in forced labour. The numbers in the UK are also rising.

In 2020, the Government announced an ambitious package of measures to strengthen the Modern Slavery Act’s transparency legislation. This included, amongst other things, extending the reporting requirement (which was already in place for businesses) to public bodies with a budget of £36 million or more. As the U.K. public sector amounts to approximately £250 billion in annual spend, this could present a really powerful opportunity to directly impact modern slavery through this sector.

Our experience both with business and local authorities indicates that many organisations are already implementing policies and training and are also engaging with suppliers to identify and address modern slavery, but so much more needs to be done which isn’t easy when there are constraints on resources and competing priorities.  Ideally we want to provide tools that are robust and make this an easier process for those trying to tackle the issue.

Therefore, I am very excited to announce the launch of Shiva Foundation’s new resource, developed in collaboration with STOP THE TRAFFIK and The Mekong Club. The self-assessment scorecard and guide is designed to support local authorities and public bodies working towards eliminating modern slavery in their organisations and supply chains and provides a practical road map to follow.

The project wouldn’t have been possible without funding and support from @UKhomeoffice. We hope this robust guide and accompanying self-assessment scorecard builds on the good work that is already being done and provides further guidance for local authorities.  We hope to see many local authorities and public bodies using it to help protect vulnerable people from exploitation.

The resource consists of two parts:

  1. self-assessment scorecard, designed to empower local authorities to confidentially self-assess their strengths in their responses to modern slavery, and where their challenges and gaps lie,
  2. Our supporting guidance, which provides further advice on how to improve and signposts to relevant resources, templates and frameworks, allowing local authorities to embed best practice across their work.

It was great to be joined in person and virtually by so many representatives from local authorities and modern slavery leads working in child safeguarding, procurement, community safety and HR/recruitment.

Thank you to our speakers, Philippa King, Evelyn Tilly, Natalie Evans, Vanouhi Petrosyan, Dami Omole and Jason Nunn, for sharing your insights with us and for your work in building a more equitable and fairer future.

I want to thank the Shiva Foundation team and our collaborators at STOP THE TRAFFIK and The Mekong Club for all of your contributions to creating this resource. I also want to express my gratitude to Hertsmere Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Herts PCC for all their help from the beginning of this journey.

The scorecard and supporting guidance can be accessed here. Please do share it as much as you can!