Behind the standard: Eradicating modern slavery Part 3: Remediation & evaluation

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March 16, 2023 - BS 25700 provides guidance for organizations on managing modern slavery risks within their operations and supply chains. In part one of ”Behind the standard: Eradicating modern slavery,” we highlighted the risk factors in modern slavery for organizations to identify. In part two, we examined how to mitigate and manage those risks. Lastly, in part three, we’ll discuss how organizations can rectify a risk incident and how they can evaluate and monitor their processes for continuous improvement.

Remedying modern slavery incidents

Remediation involves taking actions aimed at identifying and stopping all current occurrences of modern slavery as well as preventing future occurrences. The actions provide relief to those harmed or affected by an organization’s activities. The standard recommends that the remediation process:

  • Includes a whistleblowing channel that receives and assesses reports on alleged wrongdoings. These should be addressed and closed in a way that enhances trust, impartiality, and protection for the workers.
  • Encourages internal workers and those in the supply chain to voice their concerns over malpractice and any inappropriate acts through these whistleblowing channels. Workers deserve to feel comfortable stating their opinions or concerns without fear of judgement.
  • Allows everyone to understand what they're being told, regardless of their language, culture, literacy, or ability.
  • Ensures that management commits to rectifying modern slavery should it be found.
  • Provides actions to be taken if a worker does report an incident and asks what progress the organization is making to prevent it from happening again.
  • Allows an organization to work collaboratively with industry experts and supply chains to share knowledge and develop better practices.

Evaluation and continuous improvement are essential

The standard states that effectively addressing modern slavery requires an organization to continually identify opportunities for improvement and evaluate their progress by:

  • Regularly reinforcing the organization’s commitment to tackling modern slavery in its operations, supply chains, and wider operating environment.
  • Equipping workers with the skills and competency to manage modern slavery risks in their own roles and responsibilities.
  • Creating a dialogue with stakeholders who have expertise on modern slavery risks relevant to the organization’s activities.
  • Talking with suppliers to promote best practices in preventing, identifying, and responding to modern slavery in their own operations and supply chains.
  • Engaging with victims and workers so that modern slavery risk-management processes consider real, lived experiences.

It’s highly recommended that management regularly review policies and procedures to accommodate any changes to the external and internal contexts in which they are applied. Lessons learned through the evaluation process can be incorporated into the modern slavery risk-management program to enable continuous improvement.

Main takeaways from BS 25700

  • Clear, effective communication from management on all policies and processes should be the top priority for organizations.
  • Communication should be easily understood by all audiences.
  • It’s important for workers, stakeholders, and the supply chain to have transparency on all policies, incidents, and other documentation.
  • The narrative should be victim and worker centric.
  • Modern slavery policies should be constantly monitored and re-assessed.

Catch up with parts one and two of Ryan Lynch’s three-part series “Behind the standard: Eradicating modern slavery.” Learn more about BS 25700: Organizational responses to modern slavery and listen to BSI’s latest episode of The Standards Show: Eradicating modern slavery. Visit BSI's Experts Corner to read more on this topic in the series Fundamental of human rights and other important human rights issues including Sustainable supply chains.