BSI Human Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Index reveals UK exposed to increased risk of modern day slavery

According to the British Standards Institution’s (BSI) Index, Russia, Slovakia, India and Pakistan are all ‘severe risk’ source countries of ‘modern day slaves’ to the UK. Of the G7 nations, Italy is identified as a ‘high risk’ country partly due to the conflict in Syria. Greece and Turkey are additionally categorised as ‘high risk’ nations.

BSI’s Human Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index provides a new method for businesses and organisations to assess and avoid the risks posed by slavery and trafficking. The Index is unique in cross-referencing source nations of displaced people and their likelihood of being exploited in destination countries.

The Index’s lead developer, Michiko Shima, told Risk UK: “The Index is unique in that it looks at the intersection and relationship between source nations of displaced people and the likelihood of being exploited upon their arrival in destination countries. Other methods are one dimensional, looking only at source or destination countries.”

The presentation of tens of thousands of pairings of source/destination countries and their relative risk provides a broad understanding of the breadth of threats posed to global supply chains. These include Human Rights abuses, security threats and business continuity risks.

In the UK, the Modern Slavery Act 2015 is highlighting the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, in addition to the risks to business of finding examples of it occurring within global supply chains. Several high-profile court cases have highlighted the irresponsible practices that are occurring in full view across Britain.

Labour exploitation said to be “rife” in UK

Kevin Hyland OBE, the UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, has stated: “Evidence suggests that labour exploitation is rife in the UK. Construction, agriculture and hospitality are core sectors in terms of the focus of my work in tackling modern slavery. Along with statutory agencies, Government departments and NGOs, it’s incumbent upon companies to drive out any forms of exploitation.”

BSI’s Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index shines a critical light for business, Government and civil society such that there’s an enhanced understanding of the risks associated with the movement and exploitation of people between 191 source nations and 193 destination countries. Each combination of countries has been ranked from ‘Low’ to ‘Severe’ based on the risk score.

The Index’s inputs include BSI’s proprietary SCREEN Forced Labour Intelligence along with independent trafficking and exploitation data, economic disparity and countries’ geographical proximity information. The data has been verified against the citations made by credible sources in order to provide an holistic understanding of the probability of these types of abuses, threats and risks. Real-world documented cases are also presented.

Chris McCann, principal consultant for supply chain services and solutions at BSI, commented: “Along with BSI’s risk management services and solutions, the Index empowers organisations to focus their efforts on identifying and assessing ‘at risk’ suppliers and then managing the risks proactively. In doing so, progressive organisations will lessen their exposure to operational disruption, reputational damage, financial consequences – including share price volatility – and potential legal consequences.”

*For further information concerning the BSI Trafficking and Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index visit the website:

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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