Islington stands together with fellow councils to prevent modern slavery in its supply chains

In a national first, Islington Council has joined with six other local authorities to sign a new charter against modern slavery.

The charter, an initiative of the Cooperative Party, aims to eliminate modern slavery in councils’ supply chains.

It is estimated that UK councils collectively spend £40bn per year procuring goods and services. The Charter Against Modern Slavery commits councils to: ensuring that their contractors and suppliers comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015; educating staff and contractors about modern slavery and how to blow the whistle on it; and reporting any contractors that are identified as a cause for concern.

The charter was signed by Islington, Oxford, Bristol, Lambeth, Waltham Forest, Stevenage and Bassetlaw councils during today’s event, hosted at Islington Town Hall.

Islington Council has already undertaken significant work to tackle modern slavery through the identification and referral of victims, victim support and working with police to disrupt organised criminal networks targeting vulnerable persons for the purposes of exploitation. The council also has a continuing programme of training to assist staff and partners to identify the signs of modern slavery.

As the first signatory to the charter, the council will now work to ensure that its extensive supply chain shares its commitment to the eradication of all forms of modern slavery.

Islington Councillor Andy Hull, executive member for finance and community safety, said:

“Slavery in today’s society has a new face. Many of us will have passed people in the street who are living in conditions of slavery or interacted unwittingly with them in our everyday lives.

“We are training our staff to look for signs of modern slavery and report it, and now we’re using our significant purchasing power to ensure that our contractors and suppliers do the same.

“Modern slavery is an insidious practice that can lurk behind seemingly legitimate businesses. But such slavery is not altogether invisible, if we know what to look for. It can be found, and so it can be ended.

“Islington Council is proud to be the first local authority to sign this national charter, and we encourage other councils to do the same.”

Caption: Cllr Hull (L) joins councillors and Jeremy Corbyn MP to sign the charter against modern slavery

Notes to Editors:

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Islington Council
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