Modern slavery represents a tragic market failure, where some companies maintain competitive advantage and large profits through unethical and unsustainable business practices that rely on the exploitation of approximately 16 million workers worldwide.
The finance sector has not been subject to the same level of scrutiny as sectors that are high-risk for labour exploitation. But financial actors, and asset managers in particular, have the leverage, and increasingly the responsibility, to push for better human and labour rights practices by companies within their portfolios.
In partnership with Walk Free and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre we have assessed the statements produced by 79 asset managers required to report under the UK Modern Slavery Act. This is to understand the level of awareness of modern slavery risks, to identify good practice, and highlight gaps in reporting by asset managers.