Implications of Covid-19 for Modern Slavery Challenges in Supply Chain Management   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "This report shares the results of an empirical study of 489 UK-based practitioners that examines if, and how, the new Covid-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] business landscape affects commitments to tackle modern slavery in corporate supply chains. In response to the pandemic, waves of lockdowns and restrictions around the world stopped demand for some industries, whilst simultaneously, in other industries, huge surges for particular products and services exceeded supply capacity. As firms and national governments scrambled to source scarce materials, the scale and severity of the unprecedented disruption has had debilitating ripple effects on workers in supply chains. Complex global supply chains are designed for efficiency, typically characterised by single sourcing with low-cost, geographically distant suppliers operating beyond tier one. In the midst of the pandemic, whilst firms sought supply chain visibility to secure continuity of supply, the UK Government relaxed firms' obligations to publish Transparency in Supply Chains (TiSC) statements, as mandated under Section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. Although official guidelines stress the importance of continuing modern slavery risk assessments, the temporary easing of regulatory requirements can signal lower government prioritisation, and/or reallocation of internal resources. Deprioritisation can create conditions that increase the risk of modern slavery occurring in a firm's supply chains. It is against this backdrop of competing priorities, dynamic supply markets, and changing policy environments that this research was conducted. The study aimed to: [1] Investigate the impact of Covid-19 on firms' prioritisation of addressing modern slavery in their supply chains. [2] Identify effective methods for building commitment to addressing modern slavery when other commercial priorities dominate sourcing decisions."

Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre; University of Liverpool; University of Nottingham; Ethical Trading Initiative; Fifty Eight; Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply
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Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre: https://modernslaverypec.org/
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