Canadian & UK Federal Contractors to Manage Human Trafficking & Slavery Due Diligence Requirements

Canadian & UK Federal Contractors to Manage Human Trafficking & Slavery Due Diligence Requirements

The Canadian and UK governments have committed to combating human trafficking and slavery, and federal contractors in both regions will soon have new due diligence requirements to navigate.

On September 4, 2019, the Canadian government launched a six-year, $75 million CAD strategy to combat global human trafficking. The plan commits to improving ethical behavior in global supply chains, in a similar manner as federal requirements in regions such as the UK, U.S. and Australia.

The document also outlines the Canadian government’s intention to work closely with suppliers to implement cost-effective tools, strategies and best practices. Its release is an example of how large institutional buyers, such as national governments, continue to make human trafficking supply chain due diligence a prerequisite for conducting business.

The strategy’s launch coincides with the release of the Procurement Policy Note – Tackling Modern Slavery in Government Supply Chains. The document outlines the requirement that all central UK government departments, executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies to identify and manage modern slavery risks in both existing contracts and new procurement activity from October 1, 2019, and onward. 

More Human Trafficking & Slavery Legislation on the Way

The Canadian government is considering more human trafficking and slavery legislation. On April 4, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to End Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking completed a draft of the Transparency in Supply Chains Act (TSCA). The document proposes four mechanisms to combat modern slavery, including:

  • A reporting requirement for in-scope entities.
  • Duty of care for all businesses that meet an annual turnover threshold.
  • The creation of an Ombudsperson and Compliance Committee.
  • Mechanisms to receive and investigate modern slavery disclosures from whistleblowers.

Stay ahead of expanding human trafficking and slavery legislation with Assent’s Human Trafficking & Slavery Module, and mitigate risk in your supply chain.


The Government of Canada spends $20 billion CAD a year on goods, services and development, and 10 percent of those contracts are worth more than $100,000. The UK government spends even more, at over£250 billion per year. As a result, contract loss can be disruptive to the health of every business that relies on these orders.

A Business Imperative for Human Trafficking & Slavery Due Diligence

Human trafficking and slavery is the only human rights violation that can prevent goods from being placed on the U.S. market, or prevent the acquisition and retention of a procurement contract with the U.S., Canadian, UK and Australian governments. And with legislative efforts to protect human rights expanding across the globe, it is a business imperative for companies selling into the European Union, Australia and North American regions to engage suppliers on slavery and human trafficking issues.

Assent’s Human Trafficking & Slavery Module helps companies demonstrate reliable supply chain due diligence procedures to large institutional buyers, enforcement agencies, customers and activists. 

The solution leverages the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template, a surveying standard that aligns with requirements associated with a broad range of legislation across the globe. The survey gives Assent clients full confidence in the data driving their due diligence program. 

For more information about how Assent can help you comply with human rights legislation, and avoid enforcement action, contact Assent Compliance’s experts at info@assentcompliance.com.

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