Modern Slavery

All ESA Members agree to abide by the below MDS Code, which sets out the code of conduct that companies must adopt when becoming Members.

Modern slavery in the waste and resource management industry, like in many other similar industries, has been identified as a potential threat..  However,  by abiding by this Code, ESA Members are making to conscious effort to raise awareness of the risks and prevalence of forced labour, helping to identify instances of potential forced labour, and provide appropriate staff training to enable victim support.

ESA and the sectors professional membership body, CIWM, have announced a joint commitment to tackle slavery, forced labour and human trafficking across the industry. 

By working together, we will leverage our combined membership, which has a significant reach across the UK’s major waste and recycling operators, to reduce the risk of modern slavery across our membership base and the wider sector.  This will be achieved by raising awareness and understanding of the issue, setting out clear codes of practice and sharing intelligence, guidance and best practice. We will also work collaboratively to tackle the problem alongside other charities and sector bodies. 

Modern Slavery Toolkit

ESA and CIWM also worked closely together with the IPHR to produce a Modern Slavery Toolkit.

This toolkit is aimed to provide businesses a best practice guide on how to address the risks of modern slavery within the waste and recycling industry and supply chain. It will provide practical guidance for staff in all areas of business including:

  • Human Resources
  • Procurement
  • Operations and technical
  • Corporate responsibility and sustainability

And includes

  • An introduction to Modern Slavery
  • The risks of Modern Slavery within the waste and recycling sector
  • Practical guidance for business on implementing effective management systems to prevent, detect and report modern slavery
  • Additional resources

Slave-Free Alliance

The Slave-Free Alliance is a not for profit organisation that is part of Hope For Justice, a global anti-slavery charity that works to end slavery via prevention, rescue, restoration and reform.  They work in partnership with businesses & organisations of all sizes, to help reduce the risk of modern slavery within their business.

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Within the waste and recycling sector, they have experience of working with several leading companies allowing them to really understand the challenges facing the sector.

What they offer is practical recommendations as to how businesses can reduce the risk of modern slavery. Their services include

  • a membership scheme,
  • gap analysis resulting in a bespoke action plan,
  • training and site assessments.
  • a bespoke consultancy service.  

Their team comprises of:

  • lawyers,
  • social workers,
  • former police officers,
  • trainers,
  • outreach workers

All of whom have real life experience of working with victims of forced labour. Their experience of rescuing victims from supply chains, gives them a unique insight into how organised crime gangs are infiltrating businesses.

To find out more visit