The construction sector needs to address modern slavery in its supply chain, according to findings by the Global Slavery Index.
The Global Slavery Index 2016 report said that the number of people affected by slavery in the UK was around 13,000 and named the construction sector as one of its contributors.
Independent building science group BRE said that it is currently developing a new standard – the Ethical Labour Standard – which would provide organisations with a framework to verify their systems and processes in relation to the Modern Slavery Act. This, it said, would continuously improve companies within the construction sector with their ethical labour sourcing practices.
“We have over 120 organisations who are helping us shape the standard and trial its use,” said BRE in a statement. “These are organisations with complex international supply chains so the ability they have to affect real change on a global scale is significant.
“This support is a testament to the willingness of our industry to do the right thing.”
The Global Slavery Index said that globally, 45.8M people are working in slavery with 58% of those living in India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Uzbekistan. It defined modern slavery as “situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion, abuse of power or deception”.
The new standard will be launched in July.