Slavery and human trafficking: guidance for businesses

Tailored advice for all businesses in Scotland, regardless of size.

Foreword: Cabinet Secretary For Justice

Photo of Humza Yousaf Cabinet Secretary for Justice

Human trafficking and exploitation are crimes that prey on the most vulnerable in society, both within Scotland and across the world. They are abuses of human rights that have life-changing negative impacts for victims.

It is a shameful fact that human trafficking happens in Scotland, and also happens elsewhere in the world within the supply chains of Scottish organisations. Scottish businesses are profiting, whether consciously or unconsciously, from this modern form of slavery.

Everyone – individuals, public, private and third sector bodies – has a responsibility to play their part in making this stop.

The Trafficking and Exploitation Strategy sets out the Scottish Government’s approach, and this starts with a clear vision: to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation. Development and implementation of the Strategy has been an exercise in joint working, including with members of the business community.

A Corporate Group has been established, to allow business leaders to work together and support implementation of the Strategy. That group has worked closely with the Scottish Government to develop this guidance.

The legal duty on businesses comes from UK legislation, and this guidance is designed to complement UK Government guidance, and other relevant resources.

The legal duty only applies directly to larger businesses, but all businesses have an ethical duty to play their part, as well as a financial imperative given the potential impact of doing nothing.

I am grateful to all who have contributed to developing this guidance. It is vital that we continue to work together to stop these crimes from being possible and profitable.

Humza Yousaf
Cabinet Secretary for Justice


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