Enfield Council has today (18 October) sent a powerful message to its suppliers and contractors that exploitation will not be tolerated in any of its supply chains, by signing up to a charter against modern slavery.
The charter, drawn up by the Co-Operative Party, was unveiled by Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement, Cllr Mary Maguire, along with the Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, at a ceremony at the Civic Centre.
Enfield Council’s staff already receive training on how to recognise the signs of modern slavery and what to do about it if discovered. However the charter aims to go one step further by establishing ethical labour sourcing practises in the supply chain and robust recruitment practises that go above and beyond existing law and guidance.
In addition, the Council will be training recruiters and procurement officers to recognise, prevent and report forced labour, people trafficking and other hidden third-party workforce exploitation.
Cllr Maguire said: “It’s right that Enfield Council has zero tolerance to modern slavery. By signing up to this charter, we are sending a powerful message to our communities, our suppliers and our contractors that we expect them to behave ethically and to comply fully with the Modern Slavery Act 2015.
“Supply chains can be complex and Enfield Council already does its utmost to seek well-sourced provisions through our partner agencies. But, we can always do better. By signing this charter, we adopt a clear strategy to tackle effectively the scourge of modern day slavery that gives staff the means to proactively check and vet suppliers – big and small.”
The Council has five priorities that it will be delivering on. These are:
• To increase awareness and understanding of modern slavery, exploitation and human trafficking
• To integrate training and development opportunities, practice tools, guidance and resources
• To increase support and protection for people who are being exploited, and those at risk of exploitation
• To ensure greater success in detection, disruption and prosecution
• To empower communities to participate and engage in tackling modern slavery and trafficking
The term ‘modern slavery’ captures a range of types of exploitation, including sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labour.
Human traffickers and other criminals use coercion and deception to force individuals into a life of servitude, abuse and inhumane treatment for their own financial gain.
Modern slavery could be found in the most mundane of places – in coffee shops, car washes, farms, factories and nail bars. Read more here: https://party.coop/local/councillors/modern-slavery-charter/ .
The moat around the Civic Centre will be lit in green until 19 October to show support for the anti-modern slavery campaign.