Changing landscape 

Alleged involvement in human trafficking or modern slavery can be devasting to companies but also to the position of in-house counsel and to the reputation of a law firm. Take a look at how the changing landscape of international human rights will impact your practice.

These changes include steps towards mandatory due diligence requirements for businesses at the international level. There are also proposals to make human rights due diligence mandatory for EU companies in 2021. The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather views on its approach to regulation in the area of sustainable corporate governance.

In Canada, a new Modern Slavery Act is being proposed which will create import restrictions and reporting requirements for organisations. Take a look at details of the proposed legislation here. It’s important to note that the new legislation will also create additional obligations for U.S. based multinationals.

Find out more about the role of lawyers in horizon-scanning when it comes to sustainability and ESG issues.

Key guidance for businesses

Take a look at this guide on how multinational corporations can navigate human rights regimes across multiple jurisdictions.

In the UK, there are proposals to change modern slavery reporting requirements. The changes are likely to increase legal and reputational risk for businesses so it is important to commit more time and money in order to mitigate that risk. The UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has welcomed the proposals, but does not believe that “on their own they will clean up supply chains”.

The fashion retail industry has seen some controversies this year in relation to modern slavery practices, particularly in relation to their supply chains. Here are five key questions for retail businesses to consider when looking at supply chain due diligence.

In Australia, the first reporting deadline for businesses captured under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 is fast approaching (31 December 2020). Find out whether your business is captured, what the statement needs to include and what happens if you fail to comply.

We also look at how modern slavery legislation in Australia is likely to affect charities and non-profit organisations.

COVID-19 restrictions are likely to remain in place (in one form or another) as we move into 2021. It’s important to consider the risks and opportunities facing businesses in addressing modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.


Find out how Lexology PRO content can help you prepare when dealing with employment and litigation issues.

Take a look at resources available exclusively on Lexology PRO:

  • Keep up-to-date with key developments by following our modern slavery hub page where you can find all curated, must-read articles like those above, hand-picked by our team of experts.
  • Use our intuitive Business & Human Rights GTDT comparison tool which provides timely comparative analysis of legal and regulatory frameworks across a range of international jurisdictions.