Combatting Modern Slavery in the Supply Chain

Modern Slavery takes many forms, including child labour and forced labour.  As shown by recent cases in the UK, it can occur anywhere in the world, and new legislation has been introduced in the UK and the USA to combat this issue within the Supply Chain.  It could be argued that this legislation is relatively weak, as although it requires firms to be transparent about their actions to combat modern slavery in their supply chains through an annual statement, it allows this statement to indicate that they are taking no action.  However, ongoing research at Lancaster University in the UK clothing and footwear industry suggests that firms are taking this legislation seriously, and that it may be triggering improvements in processes to combat this complex issue.  Further research is needed to study the long term impact of this legislation, and its role as part of Sustainable Supply Chain Management, which includes social, environmental and economic sustainability.

There are opportunities for future Ph.D research to continue to study the impact of this legislation on the actions of firms in the supply chain.  This includes actions affecting both local and global suppliers; the role of NGOs; and the effectiveness of horizontal and vertical supply chain collaboration.  

For further information please contact Professor Linda Hendry or Professor Mark Stevenson.

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