Anneliese Dodds MP and local Labour councillors including Cllr Tom Hayes are calling for firms in Oxford to redouble their efforts against Modern Slavery, following revelations in a report published yesterday.

The report, produced by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre indicates that amongst some of the biggest (FTSE 100) companies, only a handful comply properly with even the basic requirements of the Modern Slavery Act. These include firms represented in Oxford like Marks and Spencer. Many other companies, however, including many with a presence in Oxford, do not appear to be complying with the Act.

The Act requires large companies to report on the action they are taking to ensure that modern slavery is not present in their supply and operations chains, and indicates ways in which they can provide this information and provide this assurance.

Anneliese said: “Some firms with a presence in Oxford like Marks and Spencer are leading the way with identifying and eliminating modern slavery in their supply chains. But others are very far away, with many of the biggest firms not complying with even the most basic requirements of the Modern Slavery Act. I really hope that today, on Anti-Slavery Day, companies will tighten up their procedures and ensure that they are not relying on exploited workers”.

Tom said: “Britain’s richest companies now legally have to be open about what they’re doing to stamp out modern slavery in their businesses, yet unfortunately new figures show that too many are doing little or nothing. It’s right to hold them to account, especially when they have a home here in Oxford. Local people expect better–they don’t want Oxford-based businesses profiting from modern slavery.”

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