Russia Has Over a Million Slaves

Russia Plans to Fight Slavery: The Country Has More than a Million Slaves
Ivan Ovsyannikov
PROVED.RF
June 26, 2018

The Russian government has tabled a law bill in the State Duma that would ratify the protocol to the convention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) outlawing forced labor. Russian officials claim ratifying the protocol is a formality, because there is no slavery in Russia. However, the government itself employs forced labor. PROVED has written about how the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) sells the labor of inmates to commercial companies, although it is forbidden by the convention. The Walk Free Foundation (WFF), an international human rights advocacy group, estimates there are over one million slaves in Russia.

The Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (No. 29) was adopted by the ILO in Geneva in 1930. The Soviet Union signed it only at the dawn of the Khrushchev Thaw in 1956. In 2014, the convention was supplemented with a protocol introducing  new restrictions on the use of forced labor. In particular, the original convention had stipulated people could be forced to work for public purposes. Such voluntary forced labor was widely practiced in the Soviet Union. Blue- and white-collar workers spent their weekends laboring at so-called subbotniks, while university students were sent to the fields of collective farms to harvest potatoes, carrots, and cabbages. The protocol to ILO Convention No. 29 deems this coerced labor a criminal offense.

Post-Soviet Russia has not ratified either the first or second versions of the convention. The Russian Labor Ministry has decided to correct the omission and tabled a law bill in the State Duma approving the statutes in the protocol to the convention.

The protocol requires signatories to take vigorous measures for eliminating slavery. They must pay compensation to victims of compulsory labor, educate law enforcement officers and employers about prohibited labor practices, and develop strategies for combating the slave trade.

The Labor Ministry’s draft bill says slavery has been banned in Russia as it is, and so it does not suggest any special measures for combating compulsory labor nor does it amend existing laws.

Seventh Place in Terms of Slavery
Experts claim, however, that Russian officials are disingenuous. In fact, in its 2016 survey, the WFF estimated there are least one million people in Russia subjected to some form of slavery, i.e., 0.73% of the country’s total population. Russia was thus ranked seventh in the WFF’s 2016 Global Slavery Index of 167 countries in terms of absolute number of people subjected to modern slavery. According to the index, only India (over 18 million), China (approx. 3.4 million), Pakistan (approx. 2.1 million), Bangladesh (approx. 1.5 million), Uzbekistan (approx. 1.2 million), and North Korea (1.1 million) had more slaves than Russia did.

slavery indexAn excerpt from the 2016 Global Slavery Index

Russian officials have not analyzed slave labor in Russia and do not acknowledge the problem. In their way of thinking, the president has not given them any instructions on the matter and nothing needs to be done, explains Yelena Gerasimova, director of the Center for Social and Labor Rights.

“I cannot say the government is a party to the scheme, but it closes its eyes on it. Russian Criminal Code Articles 127.1 (Human Trafficking) and 127.2 (Use of Slave Labor) are vaguely worded. While the ILO has a clear definition of slavery, the Russian police often do not understand what we are talking about. They ask us, ‘What slaves? Where are the shackles?’ But no one has ever kept slaves in shackles, for they have to work,” adds Oleg Melnikov, head of the grassroots organization Alternative.

The Government Protection Racket
Slavery includes forced marriages in which women are used as domestic servants, prostitutes forced to work in brothels, and migrant workers whose passports are confiscated by employers. As Gerasimova notes, however, Russian police, prosecutors, and labor inspectors refuse to acknowledge the problem and do nothing to identify people subjected to slavery.

She cites the example of the slaves of Golyanovo, twelve men and women freed from the basement of a grocery story on the outskirts of Moscow in 2012.

“The police were running protection for the store, which had kept people in bondage for years. They had their papers confiscated and were not paid for their work. Golyanovo is the tip of the iceberg,” argues Gerasimova.

The Russian government is willing to sell the manpower of inmates to commercial clients. For example, as PROVED discovered, Arkhangelsk Commercial Seaport LLC, a subsidiary of Evraz, purchased “workers from the inmate population” at the local penal colony for 860 rubles a day per person [approx. €12 a day]. The contract was posted on the government procurements website, although Arkhangelsk Regional Governor Igor Orlov hotly denied the deal. Now it is clear why. The ILO convention permits courts to impose work as a punishment, but it forbids leasing inmates to private companies.

Russian convicts usually work within the FSIN’s own system. Thus, the FSIN’s Main Industrial and Construction Department used inmates to build an entire residential complex for penitentiary service employees on the outskirts of Krasnoyarsk. Ironically, the complex is located on Work Safety Street.

However, the temptation to pursue public-private partnerships in the field of hard labor is too great. For example, FISN officials in Krasnodar Territory not only make no bones about their cooperation with business, but even brag about it. Inmates there sew uniforms for regular police and the Russian National Guard, cobble shoes, produce construction material, and are employed in woodworking and animal husbandry. Krasnodar Territory subsidizes businessmen who buy the goods produced by convicts. The entire enterprise is part of the territory’s official industrial development program for 2017–2020.

The Slave International
Forced labor is popular not only in the Russian penitentiary system but also in the outside world.

Melnikov describes a typical path to slavery.

“People from the hinterlands who go to Moscow and other major cities to improve their lot can end up as slaves. Someone approaches them on the streets, offering them a job in another region working on a rotational basis. He offers them a drink. Two days later, they wake up as they are arriving in Dagestan, Kalmykia or Stavropol Territory. Usually, the slaves work in cottage industries. The victims are told they have been bought. When they try and escape, they are captured and given a beating in front of everyone,” he says.

Moscow has recently been deluged with young women from Nigeria. Allegedly, they have come to study, but ultimately they are forced into prostitution. The farther workers are from home, the more vulnerable they are, adds Melnikov.

Fly-by-night firms, registered in Russia, recruit laborers in the rural regions of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. So-called foremen act as intermediaries between the firms and the local populace.

“They are often ethnic Russians from Central Asia or elders of the local communities, the mahallahs. They bring young men and women from the villages and hand them over to the managers of the companies that operate as agents. From the viewpoint of the UN and international law, this is human trafficking. But the migrant workers themselves do not see it that way. Many of them regard it as the natural order of things, an act of initiation. If you have not worked as a migrant laborer, you’re not a real man,” notes Andrei Yakimov, an expert on migrant workers.

People who are employed in this manner usually sign no work contracts with their employers. They do not know the names of the companies where they work or the names of their supervisors.

“A female cleaner from Uzbekistan knows only that she works for someone named Feruz. Feruz is her foreman or her foreman’s manager. At most, she will have heard that somewhere at the top of the food chain her work is supervised by someone named Andrei Nikolayevich, say. If I am an unskilled worker named Abdullo who has not been paid his wages, I am going to find it hard to figure where my money is. The foreman, the manager, his managers or contractor could be holding on to it. The chain of command can consist of dozens of links, especially in the construction business,” Yakimov explains.

There is no one to whom the migrant work can complain. If the migrant worker’s ID papers have also been confiscated, his or her enslavement is complete.

Slave labor is employed in different sectors of the economy. In Dagestan, slaves are sent to work at brick factories, while in Moscow they are employed as shop clerks, beggars, and prostitutes. In Novy Urengoy, they work in construction, while in Tver Region they are employed in sawmills.

Employment Off the Books
Yakimov argues that slavery in Russia is one of the shapes taken by undocumented employment. Russian nationals are fine with the fact that foreigners from Central Asia do the dirty, poorly paid jobs. These workers never turn to the authorities for help, fearing they will be punished for not having residency papers and work permits.

Russian nationals sometimes also avoid turning to the authorities, since many of them are employed on the black market and have not signed employment contracts, either. State Duma MP Oleg Shein has calculated that 34 million able-bodied Russians are employed in the illegal labor market, earning 10 trillion rubles [approx. €136 billion] annually. They constitute 40% of Russia’s entire workforce, says Shein. Such workers risk ending up as forced laborers, according to the wording of ILO Convention No. 29.

Translated by the Russian Reader

UPDATE (July 24, 2018). The 2018 Global Slavery Index has updated the figures for modern slavery in Russia. It has this to say in particular about slavery in Russia and efforts to combat it.

The Global Slavery Index estimates that 794,000 people lived in conditions of modern slavery in Russia on any given day in 2016, reflecting a prevalence rate of 5.5 victims for every thousand people.

The latest statistics provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), based on statistics collected by the Russian government, show that in 2015, there were 285 detected victims of trafficking under the different trafficking-related articles1 of Russia’s criminal code. Eighty-three of those were confirmed as victims of trafficking in persons and slave labour, and 202 were child victims of trafficking or other types of sexual exploitation.2 The number of cases investigated for trafficking in persons and other related offences under those criminal code articles amounted to 2,717. Additionally, 1,473 individuals were prosecuted, and 1,196 individuals were convicted for trafficking or trafficking-related offences in 2015. 3

Forced labour

Forced labour in Russia predominantly occurs in informal and less regulated industries. Forms of labour exploitation can be found in a variety of sectors, such as agriculture, construction, domestic work, begging, trash collection, and illegal logging.4 Forced labour involves migrant workers, who are either already in the country (including irregular migrants5), or foreign citizens who are brought to Russia for the purpose of exploitation.6 Migrant workers who fall victim to exploitation primarily originate from Central Asian countries (such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan), Ukraine, Vietnam, China, and North Korea.7

There were documented cases of exploitation of construction workers working on stadium sites for the 2018 FIFA Soccer World Cup.8 Research conducted by Human Rights Watch identified a range of abuses among these construction labourers, including non-payment and delayed payment of wages, as well as lack of employment contracts and other documentation required for legal employment.9 Workers also reported having to work outside in extremely cold temperatures and facing retaliation or threats for raising concerns about their labour conditions. Seventeen workers have reportedly died on World Cup stadium sites in Russia.10

Internal migrants from Russia’s poorer regions and migrants from the former Soviet satellite states are reportedly trafficked (sometimes involving drugging and kidnapping) and then forced to work against their will in brick factories and small farms in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.11 This involves unscrupulous recruiters who target migrants at train stations in major Russian cities. These migrants come to Russia searching for work and are tricked into forced labour by recruiters offering fraudulent employment opportunities,12 but then kidnapped or drugged and brought to far away Russian republics, such as Dagestan, where they are forced to work against their will.13 There are also reports of workers from Ukraine14 and Myanmar15 who have experienced forced labour in Russia’s fishing sector, involving recruitment agencies that deceived these workers about their working conditions.

Children exploited in forced begging is also increasingly an issue.16 This type of forced labour mainly occurs in large cities. Victims are lured by promises of jobs, brought to the cities from other Russian provinces or foreign countries and then forced to beg in the streets. If they do not bring back a certain amount of money a day, they may be punished.17

State-imposed forced labour

Compulsory prison labour was re-introduced as a criminal punishment from January 2017.18 Under the current legislation, convicted prisoners may be forced to perform labour at state prisons or private companies. Although prisoners’ working conditions are technically covered by general labour laws, the voluntary consent of the prisoner to perform such work is not required. Therefore, there are concerns that prisoners are forced to work for private companies against their will.19 In addition, Russian law allows for compulsory labour to be imposed as a punishment for various activities, including the expression of political or ideological views which are deemed to be ‘extremist’. The definition of ‘extremist activities’ is vague, which could therefore result in arbitrary imprisonment involving compulsory labour.20 Recent amendments to the law also allow changing the punishment from compulsory labour to a prison sentence if the convict evades the conviction or violates the regime of compulsory works.21

In early 2018, following the adoption of UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2375 on 11 September, asking that all UN member states ban North Korean migrant labour,22 and adoption of UNSC Resolution 2397 on 22 December 2017, demanding the repatriation of all North Korean migrant workers working overseas,23 the Russian government reportedly began repatriating North Koreans who had previously entered Russia under a labour agreement between the two countries.24 North Koreans who were previously sent to Russia under this agreement were reportedly subject to forced labour, including seized wages to cover living expenses and other “mandatory contributions”, which are an ongoing source of income for the regime in Pyongyang.25 It is estimated that more than 50,000 North Korean migrant workers have been sent abroad through the North Korean state-sponsored system, most of whom were sent to Russia and China. Once overseas, North Korean migrant workers are primarily employed in the mining, logging, textile, and construction industries.26 Workers often do not know the details of their employment contract, parts of their salaries are withheld, and they are forced to work up to 20 hours per day.27 In 2017, allegations of North Korean migrant workers being exploited in the construction of the St. Petersburg World Cup stadium emerged,28 which FIFA later confirmed.29

Forced sexual exploitation of adults and children

Russian women and children are victims of forced sexual exploitation, both within Russia and overseas. Additionally, foreign women from Europe (mainly Ukraine and Moldova), Southeast Asia (primarily Vietnam), Africa (mainly Nigeria), and Central Asia fall victim to sex trafficking within Russia.30 There are reports of Nigerian women and girls being trafficked to Russia on student visas and subsequently forced into sex work to repay their alleged “debts” for visa and travel costs. The victims are allegedly officially accepted into universities in Russia so that they may obtain their visa document, but rarely make contact with the universities once they had arrived in Russia.31

Child commercial sexual exploitation is prevalent throughout Russia, although the visibility of the crime has decreased due to an upsurge in internet usage, which has created new pathways to approach and exploit victims. It is reported that teenage girls are primarily sexually exploited in brothels, hostels, saunas, and increasingly in private apartments.32

Forced marriage

There are reports of Russian women and girls being abducted for forced marriage in the northern Caucasus region.33 In 2015, the case of a 17-year-old girl who was reportedly forced into marrying a 46-year-old police commander in Chechnya in the northern Caucasus received international media attention.34 The police chief took the girl as his second wife although polygamy is prohibited in Russia, but apparently common in Chechnya.35

Imported products at risk of modern slavery

While Russia is affected by modern slavery within its own borders, the realities of global trade and business make it inevitable that Russia, like many other countries globally, will be exposed to the risk of modern slavery through the products it imports. Policy-makers, businesses, and consumers must become aware of this risk and take responsibility for it. Table 1 below highlights the top five products (according to US$ value, per annum) imported by Russia that are at risk of being produced under conditions of modern slavery.36

Table 1Imports of products at risk of modern slavery to Russia
Product at risk of modern slavery Import value
(in thousands of US$)
Source countries
Laptops, computers and mobile phones 3,884,695 China, Malaysia
Apparel and clothing accessories 3,025,133 Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam
Cattle 917,523 Brazil, Paraguay
Sugarcane 321,834 Brazil
Fish 249,360 China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand

The highest value at-risk products that may be produced using modern slavery and imported by Russia are laptops, computers, and mobile phones, and apparel. In fact, over 60 percent (corresponding to a value of US$ 3.8 billion) of all laptops, computers and mobile phones imported by Russia are from China, which is considered at risk of using modern slavery in the production of these goods. Similarly, of the more than US$ 3 billion worth of clothing from various at-risk countries, nearly US$ 2.7 billion come from China. Cattle from Brazil and Paraguay are the third largest import to Russia that may be produced using modern slavery (US$ 917.5 million). Russia imports 85 percent of its sugarcane from Brazil, totalling US$ 321.8 million in value. Fish from various at-risk countries are imported into Russia up to an annual value of US$ 249.4 million. Fish imports from China make up the by far largest share of these fish imports (nearly US$ 178 million).

Vulnerability

Xenophobia, intolerance, and negative attitudes toward migrant workers,37 asylum seekers38 and marginalised groups, such as the LGBTQI community,39 exposes these populations to increased risk of exploitation and abuse in Russia. For example, in 2017, brutal campaigns against gay men in Chechnya reportedly led to abduction, forced disappearances, torture, and deaths by authorities.40

The large majority of Russia’s migrant workers are irregular migrants41 – a status that can make them particularly vulnerable to modern slavery. An estimated 10 to 12 million workers enter Russia annually.42 After the collapse of the Soviet Union, civil war and increasingly repressive regimes caused many individuals from the Central Asian republics to move to Russia in search of employment, taking advantage of visa-free travel arrangements. Once in Russia these individuals faced physical abuse, withholding of documents, and unsafe working conditions.43 In recent years, the rouble has been devalued amid the contraction of the Russian economy due to low crude oil prices and western sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and involvement in Eastern Ukraine.44 In light of this and increasingly negative public and government attitudes towards migrants from Central Asia45 – combined with more restrictive migration policies aimed at Tajik, Belarusian, Kazak, and Armenian citizens46 – more migrants from Central Asia are entering Russia irregularly and thereby are more vulnerable to exploitation.47 Patterns exist where irregular migrants, due to their undocumented status, are willing to accept jobs without knowing exactly the nature and conditions of the work they are committing to.

The conflict in the eastern part of the neighbouring Ukraine has increased the risk of cross-border trafficking and forced labour due to war, displacement, and economic crisis.48 Ukraine has one of the largest diasporas in the world, with the major share residing in Russia.49 Russia was one of the most popular destination countries for Ukrainian migrants seeking work abroad in 2014-15 despite the conflict, with 2.5 million Ukrainian citizens registered in Russia.50 The main destination country of all Ukrainian victims of human trafficking who were provided with IOM assistance between 2010 and 2015 was Russian.51 A survey commissioned by the IOM also found that the percentage of Ukrainians who would agree to precarious offers regarding working abroad increased from 14 percent in 2011 to 21 percent in 2015.52 This may reflect a worsening economic situation and increasing conflict in the Ukraine.

Government corruption and complicity heightens vulnerability of Russian citizens and migrants to modern slavery. There have been reports of Russian government officials facilitating trafficking and entry of trafficking victims into Russia.53 Some employers reportedly bribe Russian officials to avoid penalties imposed on them for employing irregular migrants.54 There are also suspicions that officials charge migrant workers who enter the country excessive fees for work permits.55

There are strongly patriarchal views of marriage in some of Russia’s republics in the North Caucasus, such as Dagestan and Chechnya.56 These views are reinforced by cultural traditions and religious views that do not respect women’s rights. Rules practiced in these regions contradict rights set out in the Russian Constitution and may contribute to women’s vulnerability to forced marriage in these areas.57

Response to modern slavery

Russia has criminalised human trafficking in article 127.1 of the criminal code. While the use of slave labour is criminalised under article 127.2 and article 127.1 mentions slave labour as a type of exploitation as part of the crime of human trafficking, the act of slavery itself is not distinctly criminalised.58 Articles 240 and 241 address recruitment into sex work and pimping.59

In relation to the alleged exploitation of migrant workers from North Korea on the construction site for the St Petersburg stadium for the 2018 Soccer World Cup, the St Petersburg construction committee reported that authorities had regularly conducted inspections to ensure Russian labour laws are respected.60 Although Russia has a labour code and inspections are carried out under this basis, labour inspectors do not specifically target forced labour or rigorously investigate workers’ complaints during their inspections. At the time of writing there had not been any criminal investigations as a result of labour inspections carried out on construction sites for the World Cup.61

New legislation that limits temporary agency work (known as “outstaffing” in Russia) came into effect in January 2016. The new law amends the labour code, tax code, and existing employment law.62 It limits the amount of time an employer can send employees to work for other firms and requires these outsourced employees to earn the same amount as permanent employees.63 Previously, companies were able to use temporary employers to carry out harmful or hazardous work without paying additional benefits, so this legislation may help reduce the vulnerability of these temporary workers.64

The Russian government has put tougher restrictions on migrant workers in an attempt to cut the number of irregular migrant workers in the country. At the beginning of 2015, a new law came into effect that requires foreign workers from countries that do not have a visa policy with Russia to obtain a license to be able to work legally, to pass Russian language and history tests, and pay extensive medical insurance and examination fees.65 The new law has particularly affected migrant workers from CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, such as Tajikistan, who were previously able to use their national identity cards to enter and remain in Russia, but now need to produce an international passport instead.66 This law has resulted in a slight decline in influxes of migrant labour in 2016-2017, but – despite concerns67 – it is unclear if it drove considerable amounts of workers underground or prevented them from coming to Russia altogether.

A new extradition agreement between Russia and North Korea, signed in February 2016, introduced measures to allow mutual deportation of illegal immigrants.68 The Main Directorate for Migration Affairs (until April 2016, previously called the Federal Migration Service) is now allowed to repatriate North Koreans who are “illegally” residing in Russia, even though they may face serious risk of abuse and exploitation in labour camps, or even the death penalty, upon their return to North Korea. There are concerns that this may also affect those North Koreans with refugee or asylum seeker status in Russia.69 In addition, the repatriation of North Korean migrant workers as a result of the sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 239770 could expose those repatriated workers to exploitation in their home country.

A 2012 law, which demanded that foreign-financed NGOs and other international organisations that engaged in political activities register as “foreign agents” was further amended in 2014 to authorise the Justice Ministry to register “undesirable groups” as “foreign agents”, even without their consent.71 This law effectively cracks down on civil society, including groups combatting modern slavery and providing support services for victims. Human Rights Watch reports that as of July 2017, the list of active “foreign agents” consisted of 88 groups.72 At least one NGO that performs counselling for victims of trafficking and one NGO that assists migrants were added to this list.73

The Russian government provides no funding for dedicated shelters for modern slavery victims.74 Limited shelter services are exclusively provided by a limited number of NGOs.75 In major cities such as St Petersburg or Moscow, shelters for homeless people may take in trafficking victims on a case-by-case basis. There are shelters for women and children in distress in major cities, which are usually funded by municipalities, that can deal with modern slavery victims, although they are not specifically trained to care for these types of victims. Adolescent victims of trafficking are placed in shelters for children in distress.76

Generally, victims are identified and referred by either NGOs or law enforcement on an ad hoc basis. The Russian government has not yet introduced a comprehensive National Referral Mechanism (NRM), which would provide a framework for cooperation among the different actors involved in identifying and protecting victims.77

The Russian government re-introduced compulsory labour in its prison system, beginning 1 January 2017. Compulsory labour was originally included as a provision in the Russian Criminal Code in 2011 to offer an alternative punishment to prison, but its implementation had been postponed due to a lack of facilities.78 Four new correctional facilities have recently opened, that will house criminals sentenced to compulsory labour. These facilities have lower security than prisons and allow convicted criminals to leave with permission from authorities. However, individuals will not be allowed to refuse or switch jobs once they are assigned to a role. It is reported that individuals subject to compulsory labour will receive a salary.79 Starting in 2018, individuals who violate the regime of compulsory labour or try to evade it may also receive a higher penalty, such as a prison sentence.80

The Russian government did not draft a national action plan and failed to establish a body or similar measures to effectively coordinate the government’s response to modern slavery.81

Response to modern slavery in supply chains

Public procurement

Public procurement in Russia is primarily regulated by the Federal Law No. 94 on Placing Orders for Provision of Goods, Works, and Services for State and Municipal Needs of July 21, 2005. The law created a unified nationwide procurement system and established mandatory procedures for all federal, provincial and municipal government agencies.82 However, the procurement law does not contain any explicit policies or guidelines that prohibit the use of businesses suspected of using forced labour, or purchasing products that were made using forced labour.83

business supply chains

Since the publication of the 2016 Global Slavery Index, Russia has not implemented any law that requires private businesses to report on steps taken to reduce risk of forced labour in their supply chains.

Recommendations

The government of Russia should:

Strengthen legislation

  • Sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Actions against Trafficking in Human Beings.
  • Sign and ratify the ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention No. 29 and the ILO Convention 189 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
  • Establish legislation that criminalises forced marriage and provide protection to those who may fall victim to forced marriage.

Improve victim support

  • Develop a National Referral Mechanism (NRM), a multi-disciplinary framework between all relevant actors from state and civil society aimed at identifying and referring victims to assistance and protection.
  • Publicly report statistics on the number of identified victims, investigations, prosecutions, and court outcomes related to modern slavery.
  • Establish specialised shelters for victims of modern slavery, and provide training for all social workers so they might provide specialised care to victims.

Strengthen coordination and transparency

  • Develop a National Action Plan in close cooperation with civil society and all government agencies involved in responding to modern slavery crimes.
  • Appoint a national coordination body to enable effective coordination and monitoring of measures to combat modern slavery and charge it with national and international reporting responsibility.

Address risk factors

  • Grant North Korean migrants the right to apply for asylum instead of deporting them back to their home country where they may be subject to forced labour and other severe abuses.
  • Ensure systematic and rigorous labour inspections targeting detection of modern slavery in industries where workers, including migrant workers, are known to be prone to exploitation, such as construction.
  • Implement raising awareness campaigns to highlight the discrimination that LGBTQI individuals face and arrest perpetrators of violence against LGBTBQI groups.
  • Establish behaviour change programs targeting patriarchal attitudes that facilitate the sexual exploitation and forced marriage of women and girls.
  • Investigate reports of official complicity into trafficking and related modern slavery crimes.

Eradicate modern slavery from the economy

  • Introduce legislation that requires large businesses to report on their actions taken to eliminate risk of modern slavery in their supply chains.
  • Implement legislation which requires government agencies to minimise the risk of using businesses suspected of using forced labour or purchasing products that were made using forced labour.

Footnotes

1This refers to offences recorded under articles 120 (forced organ removal), 127.1 (trafficking in persons), 127.2 (slave labour), 240 and 241 (enticement into prostitution and pimping), 242.1 (production and circulation of material or objects with pornographic depiction of minors), and 242.2 (use of minors for the production of pornographic materials).
2United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2016, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons: Eastern Europe and Central Asia Country Profile, pp. 22-23. Available from: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/Glotip16_Country_profile_E_EuropeCentral_Asia.pdf. [29 November 2017].
3As above.
4Maltseva, E, McCarthy, L, Mokhova, M, Poletaev, D & Schenk, C 2014, Country Strategy Report: Modern Slavery Landscape in Russia (draft), Walk Free Foundation, pp. 16-18.
5Obrazkova, M 2013, ‘Moscow illegal immigrants also victims of exploitation’. Russia Beyond, 16 August. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/politics/2013/08/16/is_moscow_facing_a_slavery_emergency_28965.html. [26 April 2018].
6Maltseva, E, McCarthy, L, Mokhova, M, Poletaev, D & Schenk, C 2014, Country Strategy Report: Modern Slavery Landscape in Russia (draft), Walk Free Foundation.
7As above.
8Higgins, A 2017, ‘North Korean’s in Russia Work ‘Basically in the Situation of Slaves’’. The New York Times, 11 July. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/world/europe/north-korea-russia-migrants.html. [9 April 2018]., Human Rights Watch 2017, Red Card: Exploitation of Construction Workers on World Cup Sites in Russia. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/russiafifa0617_web_0.pdf. [30 November 2017]., Levi Bridges 2017, ‘Many migrant workers building Russia’s World Cup sites are getting stiffed’, Public Radio International, 3 July. Available from: https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-07-03/many-migrant-workers-building-russias-world-cup-sites-are-getting-stiffed. [26 April 2018].
9Human Rights Watch 2017, Red Card: Exploitation of Construction Workers on World Cup Sites in Russia. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/russiafifa0617_web_0.pdf. [30 November 2017].
10As above.
11Hodal, K 2017, ‘Slave saviours: the men risking their lives to free brick workers in Dagestan’, The Guardian, 1 April. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/01/slave-saviours-men-risking-their-lives-to-free-brick-workers-in-dagestan. [9 April 2018].
12Fomin, S 2015, ‘Slavery in modern Russia’, Open Democracy, 1 June. Available from: https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/stepan-fomin/slavery-in-modern-russia. [9 April 2018].
13Hodal, K 2017, ‘Slave saviours: the men risking their lives to free brick workers in Dagestan’, The Guardian, 1 April. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/apr/01/slave-saviours-men-risking-their-lives-to-free-brick-workers-in-dagestan. [9 April 2018].
14Surtees, R 2012, Trafficked at sea: The exploitation of Ukrainian seafarers and fishers. International Organization for Migration & Nexus Institute. Available from: http://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/trafficked_at_sea_web.pdf. [28 March 2018].
15Lone, W & Barron, L 2015, ‘Trawler tragedy lifts veil on illegal recruitment’, Myanmar Times, 7 April. Available from: https://www.mmtimes.com/national-news/13967-trawler-tragedy-lifts-veil-on-illegal-recruitment.html. [14 March 2018].
16OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, 2017, Report by OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, following her official visit to the Russian Federation, 6-11 February 2017. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Available from: https://www.osce.org/cthb/107636. [9 April 2018].
17Maltseva, E, McCarthy, L, Mokhova, M, Poletaev, D & Schenk, C 2014, Country Strategy Report: Modern Slavery Landscape in Russia (draft), Walk Free Foundation.
18Kovpak, J 2016, ‘Russia to Reintroduce Forced Labor as Criminal Punishment’, Voice of America, 13 October. Available from: https://www.voanews.com/a/russia-forced-labor/3549099.html. [28 March 2018].
19International Labour Organization Committee of Experts 2017, Direct Request (CEACR) – adopted 2016, published 106th ILC session (2017), Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No. 29) – Russian Federation (Ratification: 1956), International Labour Organization. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:13100:0::NO::P13100_COMMENT_ID:3299906, [26 April 2018].
20International Labour Organization Committee of Experts 2017, Observation (CEACR) – adopted 2016, published 106th ILC session (2017), Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957 (No. 105) – Russian Federation (Ratification: 1998), International Labour Organization. Available from: http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:13100:0::NO:13100:P13100_COMMENT_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_ID,P11110_COUNTRY_NAME,P11110_COMMENT_YEAR:3298628,102884,Russian%20Federation,2016. [26 April 2018].
21Президент России 2018, Федеральный закон от 23.04.2018 № 96-ФЗ: О внесении изменений в статью 53–1 Уголовного кодекса Российской Федерации и Уголовно-процессуальный кодекс Российской Федерации [President of Russia 2018, Federal Law No. 96-FZ of April 23, 2018 On Amending Article 53-1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation].Available from: http://kremlin.ru/acts/bank/42974. [2 May 2018].
22United Nations Security Council 2017, Resolution 2375 (2017), United Nations, 11 September. Available from: https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2375%282017%29. [17 May 2018].
23United Nations Security Council 2017, Security Council Tightens Sanctions on Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2397 (2017), United Nations, 22 December. Available from: https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc13141.doc.htm. [6 February 2017].
24‘Russia begins deportation of North Korean workers — ambassador’ 2018, TASS Russian News Agency, 7 February. Available from: http://tass.com/politics/988788. [2 May 2018]., ‘Russia to send home all North Korean migrant workers by 2019: Ifax’ 2018, Thomson Reuters, 31 January. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-russia-sanctions/russia-to-send-home-all-north-korean-migrant-workers-by-2019-ifax-idUSKBN1FJ2RZ. [2 May 2018].
25Higgins, A 2017, ‘North Korean’s in Russia Work ‘Basically in the Situation of Slaves’’, The New York Times, 11 July. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/11/world/europe/north-korea-russia-migrants.html. [9 April 2018].
26United Nations Secretary-General 2015, Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. United Nations General Assembly, Seventieth session, p. 6. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/N1527317.pdf. [29 March 2018].
27As above, pp. 6-7.
28Luhn, A 2017, ‘’Like prisoners of war’: North Korean labour behind Russia 2018 World Cup’, The Guardian, 4 June. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/04/like-prisoners-of-war-north-korean-labour-russia-world-cup-st-petersburg-stadium-zenit-arena. [29 November 2017].
29Conn, D 2017, ‘World Cup 2018: Fifa admits workers have suffered human rights abuses’, The Guardian, 25 May. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/25/fifa-world-cup-2018-workers-human-rights-abuses. [26 April 2018].
30Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2017, Trafficking in Persons Report: Russia Country Narrative, United States Department of State. Available from: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271344.pdf. [30 November 2017].
31Burrows, E 2016, ‘How Nigerian girls are forced into prostitution in Russia’, Deutsche Welle, 21 April. Available from: http://www.dw.com/en/how-nigerian-girls-are-forced-into-prostitution-in-russia/a-19201378. [9 April 2018].
32Russian Alliance against CSEC & ECPAT International 2017, Submission on Sexual Exploitation of Children in the Russian Federation for the Universal Periodic Review of the human rights situation in the Russian Federation (UPR third cycle 2017 – 2021), 2 October. Available from: http://www.ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Russia-UPR-Report-2017.docx. [9 April 2018].
33Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 2015, Concluding observations on the eighth periodic report of the Russian FederationUnited Nations Office of the High Commissioner. Available from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx. [30 November 2017].
34‘Russia ‘forced marriage’ reporter Milashina flees Chechnya’ 2015, BBC News, 14 May. Available from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32745569. [9 April 2018]., Lokshina, T 2015, Dispatches: Will Russia Protect A Child Bride?, Human Rights Watch, 13 May. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/05/13/dispatches-will-russia-protect-child-bride. [9 April 2018].
35Greenslade, R 2015, ‘Russia’s independent newspaper reveals forced marriage in Chechnya’, The Guardian, 18 May. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/media/greenslade/2015/may/18/russias-independent-newspaper-reveals-forced-marriage-in-chechnya. [9 April 2018].
36The top five imported products at risk of modern slavery were identified from an original list of 15 products considered at risk of modern slavery. For a detailed methodology of how these products were identified, please refer to Appendix 3 in the 2018 GSI report. The data is taken from the BACI 2015 dataset (available from: http://www.cepii.fr/cepii/en/bdd_modele/presentation.asp?id=1).
37Sinelschikova, Y 2017, ‘Distinguishing faces: What do Russians think about migrants?’, Russia Beyond, 18 May. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2017/05/18/distinguishing-faces-what-do-russians-think-about-migrants_765076. [10 April 2018].
38Kislov, D & Zhanaev, E 2017, ‘Russia: Xenophobia and vulnerability of migrants from Central Asia’, The Foreign Policy Centre, 4 December. Available from: https://fpc.org.uk/russia-xenophobia-vulnerability-migrants-central-asia/. [10 April 2018].
39Kondakov, A 2017, ‘Putting Russia’s homophobia violence on the map’, Open Democracy, 17 May. Available from: https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/alexander-kondakov/putting-russia-s-homophobic-violence-on-map. [25 June 2018].
40Knight, K 2017, ‘Gay men in Chechnya are being tortured and killed. More will suffer if we don’t act’, The Guardian, 13 April. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/gay-men-targeted-chechnya-russia. [10 April 2018]., Amnesty International n.d., Chechnya: Stop Abducting and Killing Gay Men. Available from: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/chechnya-stop-abducting-and-killing-gay-men/. [2 May 2018].
41Balforth, T 2013, ‘Russia’s Migrant-Worker Underclass’, The Atlantic. Available from: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/01/russias-migrant-worker-underclass/267144/. [26 April 2018].
42Eke, S. n.d., ‘Russia: new rules hit foreign workers’, BBC World Service, World Agenda. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/119_wag_climate/page9.shtml. [01 May 2018]. See also: Najibullah, F 2014, ‘Russia to test migrant workers on country’s history,’ Radio Free Europe, 13 June. Available from: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-migrants-history-tests/25420832.html. [1 May 2018].
43Kislov, D & Zhanaev, E 2017, ‘Russia: Xenophobia and vulnerability of migrants from Central Asia,’The Foreign Policy Centre, 4 December. Available from: https://fpc.org.uk/russia-xenophobia-vulnerability-migrants-central-asia/. [27 April 2018]. See also: Matusevich, Y 2017, ‘Russia, Xenophobia and Profiting from Migration Controls,’ News Deeply, 3 August. Available from: https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/community/2017/08/03/russia-xenophobia-and-profiting-from-migration-controls. [27 April 2018].
44Hille, K 2018, ‘Russia’s economy: challenges facing Vladimir Putin,’ The Financial Times, 28 February. Available from: https://www.ft.com/content/3aac3faa-1bb6-11e8-aaca-4574d7dabfb6. [27 April 2018].
45Kislov, D & Zhanaev, E 2017, ‘Russia: Xenophobia and vulnerability of migrants from Central Asia,’ The Foreign Policy Centre, 4 December. Available from: https://fpc.org.uk/russia-xenophobia-vulnerability-migrants-central-asia/. [27 April 2018].
46Umarova, I & Sujud, J 2015, ‘Tajiks face new obstacles to work in Russia’, Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). Available from: https://iwpr.net/global-voices/tajiks-face-new-obstacles-work-russia. [27 April 2018].
47Schottenfeld, J 2017, ‘The Midnight Train to Moscow’ Foreign Policy, 10 August. Available from: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/10/the-midnight-train-to-moscow-tajikistan-migration/. [27 April 2018].
48Dean, L A 2016, ‘The Other Victims of the War in Ukraine’, Atlantic Council, 11 October. Available from: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/human-trafficking-consequences-of-the-war-in-ukraine. [10 April 2018].
49International Organization for Migration, Mission in Ukraine, 2016, Migration in Ukraine: Facts and Figures, p. 17. Available from: http://www.iom.org.ua/sites/default/files/ff_eng_10_10_press.pdf. [10 April 2018].
50As above, p. 13.
51As above, p. 30.
52GfK Ukraine 2015, Human trafficking survey: Ukraine, International Organization for Migration. Available from: http://www.iom.org.ua/sites/default/files/pres_gfk_iom2015_ukraine_eng_fin_3_2.pdf. [10 April 2018].
53Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2017, Trafficking in Persons Report: Russia Country Narrative. United States Department of State. Available from: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271344.pdf. [30 November 2017]., Burrows, E 2016, ‘How Nigerian girls are forced into prostitution in Russia’, Deutsche Welle, 21 April. Available from: http://www.dw.com/en/how-nigerian-girls-are-forced-into-prostitution-in-russia/a-19201378. [9 April 2018].
54Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2017, Trafficking in Persons Report: Russia Country Narrative. United States Department of State. Available from: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271344.pdf. [30 November 2017].
55Chizhova, L & Kurachyova, O 2013, ‘Behind Russia’s Migrant Raids, a Vast Network of Bribes and Opportunism’., The Atlantic, 8 August. Available from: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/08/behind-russias-migrant-raids-a-vast-network-of-bribes-and-opportunism/278481/. [10 April 2018].
56Maltseva, E, McCarthy, L, Mokhova, M, Poletaev, D & Schenk, C 2014, Country Strategy Report: Modern Slavery Landscape in Russia (draft), Walk Free Foundation.
57Vityazeva, A 2015, ‘Women’s rights squeezed in North Caucasus amid revival of Muslim traditions’, Russia Beyond, 16 June. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/society/2015/06/16/womens_rights_squeezed_in_north_caucasus_amid_revival_of_muslim_tradi_46939.html. [9 April 2018].
58OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights n.d., Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (1996, amended 2012) (English version), Legislation Online. Available from: http://legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes/country/7. [2 May 2018].
59United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2016, Global Report on Trafficking in Persons: Eastern Europe and Central Asia Country Profile, p.22. Available from: http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/glotip/Glotip16_Country_profile_E_EuropeCentral_Asia.pdf. [29 November 2017]. An English translation of the Russian Criminal Code is also available from: http://legislationline.org/documents/section/criminal-codes/country/7. [29 November 2017].
60Luhn, A 2017, ‘Like prisoners of war’: North Korean labour behind Russia 2018 World Cup’, The Guardian, 4 June. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/04/like-prisoners-of-war-north-korean-labour-russia-world-cup-st-petersburg-stadium-zenit-arena. [29 November 2017].
61Personal communication.
62‘Russia: Significant Labor Law Changes for 2016 Will Alter Temporary Employee Market’ 2014Willis Towers Watson. Available from: https://www.towerswatson.com/en/Insights/Newsletters/Global/global-news-briefs/2014/06/russia-2016-labor-law-changes-will-affect-temporary-workers. [30 November 2017].
63Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2017, Trafficking in Persons Report: Russia Country Narrative. United States Department of State. Available from: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271344.pdf. [30 November 2017].
64Antipkina, O 2017, Regulation of Secondment (Outstaffing) in Russia, Lexology. Available from: https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=f9afced8-f038-4c21-ab80-5a5052d08da0. [30 November 2017].
65Sinelschikova, Y 2014, ‘Changes to migration regulations aim to legalize shadow workers’, Russia Beyond, 5 December. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/arts/2014/12/05/changes_to_migration_regulations_aim_to_legalize_shadow_workers_42011.html. [11 December 2017].
66Russia Beyond 2014, Russia toughens migration policy for CIS citizens. 24 June. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/news/2014/06/24/russia_toughens_migration_policy_for_cis_citizens_37673.html. [11 December 2017].
67Sinelschikova, Y 2014, ‘Changes to migration regulations aim to legalize shadow workers’, Russia Beyond, 5 December. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/arts/2014/12/05/changes_to_migration_regulations_aim_to_legalize_shadow_workers_42011.html. [11 December 2017].
68Tumanov, G 2016, ‘Moscow agrees to repatriate illegal North Korean immigrants’, Russia Beyond, 11 February. Available from: https://www.rbth.com/international/2016/02/11/bleak-future-awaits-north-korean-deportees-from-russia_566735. [30 November 2017].
69Kim, J & Macfie, N 2015, ‘U.N. envoy says Russia-North Korea deportation pact puts refugees at risk’, Thomson Reuters, 26 November. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-russia-un/u-n-envoy-says-russia-north-korea-deportation-pact-puts-refugees-at-risk-idUSKBN0TF10120151126. [30 November 2017].
70‘Russia begins deportation of North Korean workers — ambassador’ 2018, TASS Russian News Agency, 7 February. Available from: http://tass.com/politics/988788. [2 May 2018]., ‘Russia to send home all North Korean migrant workers by 2019: Ifax’ 2018, Thomson Reuters, 31 January. Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-russia-sanctions/russia-to-send-home-all-north-korean-migrant-workers-by-2019-ifax-idUSKBN1FJ2RZ. [2 May 2018].
71Human Rights Watch 2017, Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups, 8 September. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/russia-government-against-rights-groups-battle-chronicle. [8 December 2017]., Luhn, A 2015, ‘Russia bans ‘undesirable’ international organisations ahead of 2016 elections’, The Guardian, 19 May. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/19/russia-bans-undesirable-international-organisations-2016-elections. [8 December 2017].
72Human Rights Watch 2017, Russia: Government vs. Rights Groups, 8 September. Available from: https://www.hrw.org/russia-government-against-rights-groups-battle-chronicle. [8 December 2017].
73Personal communication.
74Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 2017, Trafficking in Persons Report: Russia Country Narrative. United States Department of State. Available from: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/271344.pdf. [30 November 2017].
75OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, 2017, Report by OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, following her official visit to the Russian Federation, 6-11 February 2017. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Available from: https://www.osce.org/cthb/107636. [9 April 2018]., p. 9.
76Field source.
77OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, 2017, Report by OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, following her official visit to the Russian Federation, 6-11 February 2017. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, p. 8. Available from: https://www.osce.org/cthb/107636. [9 April 2018].
78Kovpak, J 2016, ‘Russia to Reintroduce Forced Labor as Criminal Punishment’, Voice of America, 13 October. Available from: https://www.voanews.com/a/russia-forced-labor/3549099.html. [30 November 2017].
79Stulov, M 2016, ‘Russian Justice System to Reintroduce Forced Labor in 2017’, The Moscow Times, 4 October. Available from: https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-justice-system-to-reintroduce-forced-labor-in-2017-55589. [30 November 2017].
80Президент России 2018, Федеральный закон от 23.04.2018 № 96-ФЗ: О внесении изменений в статью 53–1 Уголовного кодекса Российской Федерации и Уголовно-процессуальный кодекс Российской Федерации [President of Russia 2018, Federal Law No. 96-FZ of April 23, 2018 On Amending Article 53-1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation and the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation].Available from: http://kremlin.ru/acts/bank/42974. [2 May 2018].
81Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women 2015, Concluding observations on the eighth periodic report of the Russian Federation United Nations Office of the High Commissioner. Available from: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Slavery/SRSlavery/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx. [30 November 2017]., OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, 2017, Report by OSCE Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, Madina Jarbussynova, following her official visit to the Russian Federation, 6-11 February 2017, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Available from: https://www.osce.org/cthb/107636. [9 April 2018].
82Roudik, P 2015, Government Procurement Law and Policy: Russia, Library of Congress. Available from: https://www.loc.gov/law/help/govt-procurement-law/russia.php. [9 April 2018].
83Field source
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