Modern Slavery Disclosure Regulation and Global Supply Chains: Insights from Stakeholder Narratives on the UK Modern Slavery Act

Muhammad Islam* (Corresponding Author), Chris J. van Staden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to problematise a particular social transparency and disclosure regulation in the UK, that transcend national boundaries in order to control (modern) slavery in supply chains operating in the developing world. Drawing on notions from the regulatory and sociology literature, i.e. transparency and normativity, and by interviewing anti-slavery activists and experts, this study explores the limitations of the disclosure and transparency requirements of the UK Modern Slavery Act and, more specifically, how anti-slavery activists experience and interpret the new regulations and the regulators’ implementation of the regulation. This research found limited confidence among anti-slavery activists regarding the Act’s call for transparency in relation to the elimination of slavery from global supply chains. The research also found that the limits of the transparency provisions within the Act appear to hinder the attainment of normativity. This study provides new and unique insights into the critical role that social activists play in exposing the lack of corporate transparency and failures of responsibility to protect workers within global supply chains.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date6 Jul 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Developing nations
  • Supply chains
  • UK Modern Slavery Act 2015
  • Transparency
  • Normativity
  • Disclosures
  • Anti-slavery activists
  • Regulation
  • Societal stakeholders

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