Supporting new jobs and creating skills locally

Modern Slavery Charter


Brent Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Calderdale Council, Cannock Chase Council, Chorley Council, Coventry City Council, Darlington Council, Enfield Council, Harrow Council, Lincoln Council, Liverpool City Council, Merton Council, Oldham Council, Oxford City Council, Rotherham Council, Sheffield Council, Stevenage Borough Council, St Helens Council, Sunderland Council, Tameside Council, West Lancashire Council, Wolverhampton Council

Modern Slavery is where traffickers and slave masters use whatever means they have at their disposal to coerce, deceive and force individuals into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. It is one of the great evils of our time and it’s estimated that tens of thousands of people in the UK could be victims

Much modern slavery occurs in industries that may well be commissioned by councils - from cleaning to construction, and from car washes to factories. Many firms that supply councils will use contractors and suppliers of their own too, that may also be affected. Supply chains are a complex business, but Labour councils are working hard to ensure that their resources aren’t being used to support exploitation. Collectively, local authorities in England spend more than £40bn per year procuring goods and services on behalf of their citizens, and councils do business with thousands of different suppliers – both large and small.

Labour councils, working with sister party The Cooperative Party, are leading the way in ensuring that this cruel exploitation has no place in council supply chains. They have developed a new set of principles that help tackle the problem. The Co-operative Party’s ‘Charter Against Modern Slavery’ goes further than existing law and guidance, committing councils to proactively vetting their own supply chain to ensure no instances of modern slavery are taking place. Councils are committed to train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery, challenge abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon modern slavery, and highlight to all suppliers that workers are free to join a trade union. Councils must also report publicly on the implementation of the Charter annually.

Over 50 Labour councils have already signed up to support and implement the Charter, including Brent, Blackburn with Darwen, Calderdale, Cannock Chase, Chorley, Coventry, Darlington, Enfield, Harrow, Lincoln, Liverpool, Merton, Oldham, Oxford, Rotherham, Sheffield, Stevenage, St Helens, Sunderland, Tameside, West Lancashire, and Wolverhampton.

You can find out more about the Charter from the Cooperative Party website:

The LGA Labour Group exists to fight the corner for Labour councillors at a national level, both within
the cross-party Local Government Association and with the Labour Party at Westminster. The Group provide a strong voice for Labour councillors and act as a platform for ideas and innovation for all those committed to an effective localist element to Labour politics and policies.

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