Sunday, 14th July 2024

Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards launches Initiative to prevent Modern Slavery

Sunday, 7th July 2024

Representative Image
The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has joined hands with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to guide and assist in the development of an International Standard for organizations on modern slavery.

The initiative is the first of its kind that is taken by both organisations together. The initiative began earlier this year in July 2023, and is being organised as a part of the development work programme of the International Organization for Standardization or ISO.

The term ‘Modern Slavery’ has a large number of definitions. The term is generally used for situations where aspects of control, involuntary actions and/or exploitation are involved.

The scenarios of modern slavery often include human trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage, but are not limited to these.

According to data, about 40.3 million population in the world are victims of Modern Slavery. Out of these, more than 60% are exploited by forced labour.

It is, thus, the need of the hour that organizations and businesses of all sizes and all sectors understand how their activities can knowingly or unknowingly be linked with modern slavery.

The guidance documents will help business owners across Saint Lucia to understand and respond to the risks of Modern Slavery in their businesses. The initiative is focused mainly on SMEs, which make up the majority of the share of businesses in Saint Lucia. The government has also planned an awareness-building seminar under the initiative. The event will be conducted on 29th November 2023 at the Harbour Club Hotel, starting from 10 AM.

The event would host local, regional and international experts who will share their knowledge and experiences from supply chain and Human Trafficking challenges.

The discussion will include the need for the development of a standard for organizations to ensure their day-to-day operations do not encourage or unknowingly participate in acts of Human Trafficking and/or Forced Labour activities.