It takes various forms, such as slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour and human trafficking, all of which have in common the deprivation of a person's liberty by another in order to exploit them for personal or commercial gain.
Modern slavery is prevalent across the world, including the UK, and is a fundamental issue which must be taken seriously by commercial organisations who can use their collective power to positively influence the behaviour of their supply chains and to help tackle modern slavery issues in business and society.
The University of East London (UEL) is committed to combatting all forms of slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour and human trafficking (together
modern slavery) and to only dealing with suppliers and business partners who share and adhere to this commitment.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA) came into force in October 2015 and this is the third public statement we have produced under the MSA.
We believe that the measures we are putting in place are appropriate for our organisation in combatting modern slavery. However, we recognise that it is an ongoing issue for all organisations worldwide and we are committed to continually evolving and improving our approach to protect vulnerable individuals.
UEL's staff and students
We have a whistleblowing policy in place so our staff and students know they can report actual or suspected incidents of modern slavery without suffering unfavourable or detrimental treatment.
We will also provide information and/or training to appropriate staff within our business so they have an appropriate level of understanding of the risks of modern slavery and know how to report any concerns or issues.
Equality and diversity
Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the core of UEL's values and behaviours. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their full potential and to contribute to making UEL the best it can be. Discriminatory behaviour has no place in our business and we expect the same commitment from all our suppliers, business partners and agents.
We have equality and diversity policies in place which set out our approach to equality and diversity. We believe that by embedding equality and diversity into our business individuals are better protected from abuses and unfair treatment.
London Living Wage
We are a London Living Wage employer so we pay all our direct staff at or above the London Living Wage rate as set by the Living Wage Commission. We also require a number of our key suppliers to commit to paying their staff working on our sites at or above the London Living Wage.
We believe that this commitment to the London Living Wage significantly reduces the risk of individuals working at our sites being paid below the national minimum wage, a key modern slavery risk.
We are committed to better understanding our supply chains and working towards greater transparency and compliance in future years.
We understand modern slavery is an ongoing worldwide issue and we are committed to continuous improvement to ensure our business runs in an ethical and sustainable manner.
This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our group's modern slavery statement for the financial year ending 31st July 2017.