Modern slavery and human trafficking statement - the RSA - RSA

Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

RSA Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

1. Purpose of this statement

1.1. This statement sets out the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (the RSA’s) position and actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business and its supply chains.

2. Approval

2.1. This statement is made voluntarily by the RSA, in support of the principles of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and has been approved by the RSA’s Board of Trustees.

3. Organisational purpose and structure

3.1. As an organisation dedicated to social impact, having been at the forefront of social change since 1754, the RSA is absolutely committed to preventing slavery and human trafficking in its corporate activities, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking.

4. Commitment

4.1. No labour provided to the RSA in the pursuance of the provision of its own services is obtained by means of slavery or human trafficking. The RSA adheres to the standards required in relation to its responsibilities under relevant UK employment legislation in relation to its workers. (For the purpose of this policy, workers are defined as those employed directly by the RSA as staff, including casual staff, working with the RSA as contractors or Associates, or working with the RSA via an agency, partner or subcontractor organisation.)

4.2. The RSA does not enter into business with any other organisation, in the United Kingdom or abroad, which knowingly supports or is found to involve itself in slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour.

4.3. To date, we have had no reports of modern slavery within our organisation nor our supply chains or partnerships. We commit to continuously reviewing our internal practices regarding our workforce, consistently scrutinising our supplier practices and, additionally, commit to requesting assurances from our partners that they uphold appropriate standards in their processes

5. Definitions

5.1. ‘Modern slavery’ is defined by the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (“the Act”) as a term encapsulating the offences of slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking. It is used with this definition throughout the statement, which supports compliance with section 54 of the Act.

5.2. The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force, abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose, including forced labour or sexual exploitation.

5.3. We oppose slavery and human trafficking in all its forms and have put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our own organisation – and, as far as is possible, that our suppliers and partners hold the same ethos.

6. Supply chain

6.1. The main supply chains that help the RSA undertake its activities are those related to our digital presence (including website and CRM and CMS service providers), the printing and distribution of our journal and other postal mailings and provision of catering services through our subsidiary RSA Adelphi Limited. In general, we consider that our risk of exposure to slavery and human trafficking is relatively low. Nonetheless, we take steps to ensure that such practices do not take place in our business nor the business of any organisation that supplies goods and/or services to us, or those with whom we work in partnership.

6.2. In the light of the introduction of the Act, the RSA developed systems and processes to review its existing supply chains in order to assess and manage modern slavery risks. The RSA also introduced a procurement policy and system for supply chain verification whereby the organisation evaluates potential suppliers before they enter the supply chain.

6.3. The RSA has not, to our knowledge, conducted any business with another organisation which has been found to have involved itself with modern slavery.

7. Due diligence

7.1. The RSA undertakes due diligence when considering taking on new suppliers, and regularly review existing suppliers. Our due diligence and reviews include:

  • taking steps to improve substandard suppliers' practices, including providing advice to suppliers through and requiring them to implement action plans;
  • using ethical supplier databases where suppliers can be checked for their labour standards, compliance in general, and modern slavery and human trafficking in particular; and
  • invoking sanctions against suppliers that fail to improve their performance in line with an action plan or seriously violate our supplier code of conduct, including the termination of the business relationship.

8. Staff wellbeing

8.1. The RSA has a clear set of values and behaviours and encourages staff (also refers to employees and self-employed contractors and agency workers) to report any concerns or breaches so that they can be dealt with appropriately in accordance with our policies and procedures.

8.2. We are committed to keeping all our people safe from harm and abuse. Staff can raise concerns confidentially and anonymously via our Whistleblowing policy. There is also a Dignity at Work Procedure (anti-Bullying and Harassment), safeguarding procedure and access to a confidential, 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme. RSA’s HR professionals and those managing outsourced services are required to complete training on modern slavery.

9. Raising awareness

9.1. As well as training key staff, the RSA continues to raise awareness of modern slavery issues by posting information on the organisation’s intranet (contained in the appendix of this document), including:

  • the basic principles of the Act;
  • what staff can do to flag up potential slavery or human trafficking issues to the relevant parties within the organisation; and
  • what external help is available, for example through the Modern Slavery Helpline.

10. Relevant policies and further information

The RSA has policies in place that support the management of modern slavery and human trafficking risks, including how to report concerns:

10.1. Whistleblowing policy

The RSA encourages all its staff to report any concerns related to unethical behaviour. The RSA’s whistleblowing procedure is designed to make it easy for staff to make disclosures without fear of retaliation.

10.2. Dignity at Work

The RSA sets out the framework by which an employee’s behaviour that falls below the RSA’s expected standards will be managed.

10.3. Recruitment and selection policy

The RSA’s policy confirms the checks that are undertaken to ensure that job applicants, agency staff and contractors are eligible before they can commence work with the RSA.

10.4. Safeguarding policy

The RSA’s Safeguarding Policy and Procedure articulates how concerns or incidents of safeguarding are managed.

11. Further information

11.1. If you have any questions or require further guidance, please find below more information in our appendix, all relevant documents in One RSA in a Box, or contact the Chief Operating Officer.


Voluntary Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

What is the Modern Slavery Act 2015?

The main aim of the Modern Slavery Act is to put a stop to crimes involving trafficking and forced labour and to stamp out modern slavery once and for all by imposing tougher penalties on offenders and strengthening protections for victims.

What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking is a global crime which affects individuals and businesses worldwide.

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are almost 21 million people in forced labour, including forced sexual exploitation. Of those 5.5 million are children. Men, women and children are exploited from all over the world and, in the UK alone potential victims have been identified from over 90 different countries. Traffickers will exploit individuals, for profit, in a number of ways: sexual exploitation, labour exploitation, and criminal activities including forced begging or cannabis cultivation.

In many instances traffickers will increase the control they have over individuals by placing them in debt bondage, making them work to pay off the money they owe the trafficker.

Small businesses through to multi-national companies could be implicated in instances of exploitation and human trafficking if they do not make the necessary checks or take appropriate precautions. Thoroughly checking supply chains and recruitment agencies will ensure that the potential for human trafficking to occur is significantly reduced.

As an employer, manager, or colleague you have a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that your employees and fellow workers are safeguarded, treated fairly and with dignity.

What signs might indicate that someone may be a trafficking victim?

Victims are trafficked all over the world for little or no money – including to and within the UK. They can be forced to work in the sex trade, domestic service, forced labour, criminal activity or have their organs removed to be sold.

There is no typical victim, and some victims don’t understand they have been exploited and are entitled to help and support. Victims are often trafficked to a foreign country where they cannot speak the language, have their travel and identity documents removed and are told that if they try to attempt an escape, they or their families will be harmed. For more information see GOV.UK's modern slavery documentation.

What should I do if I suspect someone is being trafficked?

If you think that someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Suspected breaches of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 within the RSA or its supply chain or at partner organisations can be reported through the RSA Whistleblowing policy.

  • 24-hour Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline 0800 0121 700
  • For England and Wales, please call The Salvation Army 24-hour confidential Modern Slavery Referral Helpline on 0300 3038151 any time of the day or night to refer a potential adult victim of trafficking or to receive advice.

For potential child victims of trafficking please call your Local Authority Children’s Services or the NSPCC Child Helpline on 0808 800 5000.

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