Why October 18th matters

October 18th is international Anti-Slavery Day which aims to raise awareness of the existence of (and Government intentions to eradicate) modern day slavery, human trafficking and worker exploitation.

Modern slavery is a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights and takes the form of forced or coerced slavery, servitude and labour, in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.

Every year an estimated £14 billion of UK imports are possibly made by forced labour or exploited workers in other countries, according to the Walk Free Foundation. Before you say, ‘it couldn’t happen here’, the Walk Free Foundation also think there could be two slaves for every 1000 people in the UK or 136,000 victims of modern day slavery across the country.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 established a legal obligation for businesses who supply goods or services in the UK and have an annual turnover of £36 million or above, to write a statement disclosing any activities they have undertaken to eliminate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chains. Even if they have undertaken none, they must expressly say so. The Government has estimated that at least 12,260 companies are obliged to comply.

It is an annual obligation for companies to display this information on their website, with a link to it from the homepage. If a company does not have a website, they must provide a written copy of their statement within 30 days of anyone requesting it.

Although Magicman do not meet the minimum threshold in terms of turnover, two sectors we operate in include construction and tourism, which are at high risk of being affected by worker exploitation. Other sectors likely to be affected include agriculture, hospitality, food processing and packaging, textiles and security.

We are committed to ensuring transparency in our business and tackling modern day slavery in our supply chain if it exists and we expect our suppliers to live up to the same standards. As such, we survey all companies in our supply chain through an extensive questionnaire before they can be placed on our approved suppliers list.

Magicman are already certified with ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001. As Magicman work towards migration from OHSAS 18001 to the new accreditation standard ISO 45001, establishing a supply chain that is compliant is important and should be monitored at a senior level.

Our ‘Anti-Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy’ are well as all our accreditation certificates and policy documents are available on the Magicman website.