Last edited 19 Jan 2021

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BRE Group Researcher Website

Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index

On 1st March 2018, the inaugural Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index was launched by BRE and Sustain Worldwide.

The Index recognises individuals from all business sectors, media and academia who are 'influence leaders' in raising awareness to end modern slavery and labour exploitation; those who advocate for robust ethical sourcing and human rights recognition and practices in UK direct business operations and global supply chains.

The Global Slavery Index has estimated there are 45.8 million people across 167 countries in modern slavery. The UK government has estimated there are around 13,000 people in modern slavery in Britain today. In 2015, over 3,000 people, including nearly 1,000 children, were referred to British authorities as potential victims of slavery. Prime Minister Theresa May has called modern slavery “the great human rights issue of our time”.

Dr Shamir Ghumra, Director of Sustainable Products at BRE, has been at the forefront of the UK construction sector’s response to modern slavery. In spring 2017, the BRE catalysed a coalition that developed the Modern Slavery & the UK Construction Sector Industry Charter. Signatories to the charter, which include CIOB, CIPS, IEMA, RIBA and RICS, commit to seek opportunities to uphold, preserve and promote the right of freedom in the UK’s construction industry.

Later in the year, Dr Ghumra led the development of the GLAA Construction Protocol, which was signed in October 2017. The protocol provides a framework for the GLAA and the construction sector to enter a dialogue on labour exploitation. He also delivered the Ethical Labour Standard (ELS), published by BRE in February 2017, which supports business in meeting its human rights challenges. The ELS provides a framework for verifying ethical labour sourcing, and a route for companies working across all sectors and geographies to verify their systems and services.

Dr Shamir Ghumra said:

Modern slavery has been described as a crime that is hidden in plain site. Every day, in Britain’s towns and cities, across construction sites, factories, retail parks, high street shops, car wash forecourts and agricultural fields and shorelines, people are held against their will, exploited and trafficked. Criminal gangs are at the heart of modern slavery, using people as commodities to rack up profits and consign millions to modern day slavery.

“The ILO estimates modern slavery is a $150bn worldwide industry. Often unwittingly, due to a lack of awareness of who is working in their global supply chains, most organisations and companies in the UK are at risk of having modern slavery in their business. The 2018 Annual UK Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers’ Index is one weapon in the armoury to raise awareness to end modern slavery and labour exploitation, and to recognise those who are influencing the debate.”

The Top100 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencers will be recognised at a dinner, on 26 September 2018, to be hosted by Baroness Young of Hornsey OBE. The Baroness is a champion of human rights, and has introduced a Bill before Parliament that proposes public authorities are included in requirements under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (transparency in supply chains). Presently, the private sector alone is required to comply.

During the Recognition dinner, the rankings of the 2018 Top100 Influencers will be revealed, culminating in one person being recognised as the Top1 Corporate Modern Slavery Influencer. Each of the Top5 recognised will be invited to give a short speech detailing their influence to date and setting out what they will do next to expose and eradicate modern slavery and labour exploitation in UK direct business operations and global supply chains.

The Index is based on the combination of influence on social media, as measured by Klout scores, and advocacy – policy input, speaking and media engagement – in public life, which is aggregated via a proprietary algorithm. A panel that is independent of business will verify the Index’s transparency, robustness and independence.

The Top100 Influencers as a whole will be revealed on 17 May 2018.

This article was originally published here on 1 March 2018 by BRE.

--BRE Group

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