With a lot of India's bonded labour, some of it children, employed in quarrying and processing natural stone, and penal labour in China being used for stone processing, the stone industry is in the frontline of modern slavery. If you are not sure what to do about that, BRE is coming up with an answer.
Next month (July) it is launching a new standard – the Ethical Labour Standard – to give organisations a framework to verify their systems and processes in relation to the Modern Slavery Act and continuously improve their ethical labour sourcing practices.
The Act requires larger companies to include a report on its efforts to tackle slavery in its annual report. That will not apply to smaller stone companies, but as part of the supply chain to larger contractors and developers, they will be expected to be able to answer questions to enable the larger companies to complete their reporting requirements.
BRE has more than 120 organisations helping to shape its new standard and trial its use. These are organisations with complex international supply chains so the ability they have to affect real change on a global scale is significant. This support is a testament to the willingness of the construction industry to do the right thing.
The findings of the Global Slavery Index released on 31 May are shocking. They identify 48million people in slavery worldwide, including 13,000 in the UK.
For more information about the BRE standard contact [email protected].