United Kingdom: Investors urge UK building sector to check for modern slavery in supply chains

A group of 56 big investors with £7tn in assets is calling on UK-listed companies in the construction and materials industry to check for modern slavery in their supply chains, following a year-long campaign at hospitality groups where instances of forced labour were unearthed.

Asset managers including Schroders, Aberdeen Standard Investments and Fidelity International, and religious groups including the Church of England’s investment arms, said modern slavery was rife across many industries, adding that businesses needed to properly examine their supply chains.

The group praised InterContinental Hotels Group after the chain found, and adopted a plan, to tackle forced labour issues in its operations in Oman. But it said that with an estimated 25m people — the population of Australia — thought to be victims of modern slavery, other companies targeted by the initiative should have uncovered examples of the problem too. “Given the pervasiveness of modern slavery, we are frankly surprised that the other companies involved in the Find It, Fix It, Prevent It engagement have not found it and urge them to deepen their investigations because it is most likely there,” Peter Hugh Smith, chief executive of CCLA, the UK-based asset manager that has spearheaded the initiative.

The original full article can be found at ft.com

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