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Culture: Slavery

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 172043, tabled on 19 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what impact assessments his Department has conducted on modern slavery in supply chains in the arts and culture sector.

Answered on

26 March 2021

The prevalence of modern slavery and complexity of global supply chains means that it is highly unlikely that any sector or company is immune from the risks of modern slavery. The Government encourages companies to report transparently about how they are mitigating modern slavery risks and to use their modern slavery statements to demonstrate year on year progress.

Section 54 of the The Modern Slavery Act 2015 requires certain businesses in all sectors with a turnover of £36m or more (including within the arts, culture, entertainment industry) to report annually on the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

The transparency legislation was designed to enable consumers, investors and civil society to scrutinise business action. To improve the quality and detail of reporting and accelerate action to prevent modern slavery, the Government announced an ambitious package of changes to strengthen the reporting requirements on businesses and has committed to introduce financial penalties for those that fail to meet their obligations under section 54.

In March 2021, the Government launched a digital registry for modern slavery statements which will enhance transparency by making statements available in one place for the first time. It will provide greater visibility of the steps organisations are taking to prevent modern slavery in their global supply chains and empowering investors, consumers and civil society to scrutinise action and monitor progress.

These measures, including requiring organisations to publish their statement on the Government modern slavery registry, require primary legislation and will be introduced when parliamentary time allows.

DCMS, along with other government departments, will be publishing its own Modern Slavery statement in September 2021. This will extend to our Arms Length Bodies that have a budget of at least £36m.