Church-led research will investigate links between human trafficking and top UK companies

3 February 2015

Modern slavery, including human trafficking, has been raised as one of the global priorities for the Anglican Alliance, raised at every regional consultation as a key issue affecting their communities.

In November 2014, the Anglican Alliance convened a consultation in Rome, bringing together Anglicans from around the Communion working in different areas to tackle modern slavery. The consultation discussed how we can work together more effectively in collaboration in the Communion and with other partners towards ending modern slavery and human trafficking.

The main role for the Anglican Alliance is to provide a platform for Anglicans to share their skills, vision and research, including on tackling modern slavery. This article below, by Us (formerly USPG), discusses a groundbreaking piece of research into potential links between business supply chains and human trafficking.


The research is being motivated by a concern that FTSE 100 companies may inadvertently become involved in human trafficking through links with suppliers around the world.

Rachel Parry, Global Relations Director for the mission agency Us (formerly USPG), which is helping to fund the research, explained: “Human trafficking is a highly profitable global trade – more profitable than the drugs trade. People who have been trafficked – typically those from poor or vulnerable communities – can end up as slave labour which can be embedded within the supply chains utilised by many well-known companies.

“Our research will dig deep into the phenomenon of human trafficking, taking as our focus the supply chains of the FTSE 100 companies. We want to explore how human trafficking could be a part of the picture.

“We want to see FTSE 100 companies better informed to help them ensure there is as little risk as possible that their supply chain is somehow touched by the traffickers’ trade.”

One person is sold every 30 seconds (Finance Against Trafficking). Every year, 1.2 million children are trafficked across or within countries (UNICEF), and up to 800,000 people – mostly women and girls – are trafficked across international borders (US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2007).

Supporting the research with Us (formerly USPG) are Finance Against Trafficking, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), and Rathbone Greenbank Investments.

The researchers will encourage FTSE 100 companies to adopt a best practice policy that will help uncover any risk that workers in the supply chain have been trafficked.

There will be a further focus on an advocacy resource raising awareness of human trafficking aimed at churches, so that they are better informed to join the campaign against human trafficking, both as shareholders and responsible community members. It is also expected that company engagement meetings will be part of the Phase 2 of the project.

The research project began on 30 January 2015 and will conclude later this year with the publication of findings, including proposals for action in the UK to help tackle global trafficking.

Notes for Editors

For more information, email Rachel Parry, Us Global Relations Director, at

Us (formerly USPG) is an Anglican mission agency working in partnership with churches around the world. Together, we work alongside local communities to improve health, put children in school, tackle discrimination, nurture leaders, give a voice to women, and much more. Founded 1701.

Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR), a church-based investor coalition and membership organisation, has been established over 25 years and leads and collaborates with others in advocacy and awareness-raising on business issues related to human rights, economic justice and environmental stewardship.

Finance Against Trafficking is working to raise awareness, equip and resource companies to help them effectively address all areas of their business that can be affected by people trafficking and manage the risk and threats to their businesses, supply chains and reputation. Finance Against Trafficking is affiliated to STOP THE TRAFFIK (STT), which is an organisation working across the world to tackle trafficking.

Rathbone Greenbank Investments (RGI) provides personalised and professional investment management services for investors who want to ensure their investments take full account of their environmental, social and ethical concerns.