We’re launching a framework that will help companies write a good modern slavery statement. As Owain Johnstone states in this blog, no-one before has set out in a detailed, transparent and accessible way how to write a good statement – or how to spot a bad one. It’s time that gap was filled.
In September 2016, businesses began to publish their first modern slavery statements. Two years on, there have been some excellent statements published – often by ETI members such as ASOS and Rowlinson Knitwear. But overall the quality of statements across the UK remains very poor.
The Modern Slavery Registry found that less than 20% of the more than 6,000 statements it has collected meet the minimum legal criteria set out in Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act. And even where they are compliant with the law, many statements are short, vague and lacking in measurable actions.
Why is this? Partly it’s because it is still not clear what a good statement looks like.
Guidance and samples
The CORE Coalition has published useful general guidance on writing a statement, and organisations like Ergon Associates and the BHRRC have analysed samples of statements from the largest companies. But no-one has set out in a detailed, transparent and accessible way how to write a good statement – or how to spot a bad one.
That’s why ETI is launching a framework to do just that.
It’s important because we can only drive up the quality of statements if we have a clear and consistent standard to judge them against. Businesses need to know what to aim at, while investors, parliamentarians and consumers need to know how to hold businesses to account.
We are now publicly launching the framework and you can download it here.
Later this year, we will create an online version and host it on our website.
In the meantime, give it a try and let us know if you have any feedback? How useful is this framework for you? How could it be improved? We are keen to hear from you!
More information on the framework, including advice on how to use it for different groups (businesses, NGOs, investors, consumers, government), can be found here.
Framework feedback should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.