Last month, ASOS, a London-based online clothing, shoe, accessory, gift, and beauty marketplace that sells to consumers in 231 countries and territories, released a public statement detailing the efforts they have undertaken to comply with the 2015 UK Modern Slavery Act.
In 2016, ASOS contacted Verité for guidance regarding the steps they should take to both assess and to address the modern slavery risks, including forced and bonded labor, that were present throughout their business operations and supply chain. As part of the program, ASOS identified the issues of migrant labor, refugee labor, child labor and young workers, contract and agency workers, women workers, and outsourced HR functions as the areas where the brand is most exposed to the risks of modern slavery.
As is outlined in their public statement, Verité worked with ASOS to review and consult on the Modern Slavery Indicators that form part of their new Ethical Trade Program. Verité also assisted in conducting assessments of 11 ASOS factories in Mauritius, and collaborated on a training designed to familiarize ASOS and some of their partner retailers’ staff members with the issue of modern slavery.
Verité applauds the steps that ASOS has taken to identify and begin to address the modern slavery risks throughout their business operations and supply chain and the commitments they have made toward mitigating these risks going forward.
The level of transparency that ASOS has shown through the detailed findings and action plans included in the public statement is commendable. It highlights the importance for all companies to confront these risks in a meaningful and transparent manner. This works to strengthen a company’s visibility into the practices of its suppliers, while also showing consumers that the company is committed to taking real action to confront the human rights abuses that remain endemic in today’s supply chains.
For more information, please contact Declan Croucher.