Referrals for modern slavery are increasing, with the construction industry particularly vulnerable to the risks
There were 7,936 referrals for modern slavery and human trafficking in the UK during 2022 – an increase of 10.3% compared to the previous year.
According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), construction is considered particularly high risk for modern slavery.
The industry faces challenges in ethical labour management, heightened by issues such as labour shortages, new immigration legislation and layers of subcontracting which can increase vulnerability to worker exploitation.
To support the industry in addressing these risks, CIOB has contributed to an NCA report which explores how criminals can infiltrate supply chains and provides advice on ethical labour management.
In 2015, CIOB examined the issue in the Modern Slavery: The Dark Side of Construction report, which called for greater recognition of migrant workers and highlighted the plight of millions of construction workers across the globe.
CIOB in collaboration with Stronger Together – a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at reducing modern slavery – has also created a free online toolkit to support construction companies.