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The role of consumers in addressing modern slavery

Event discussing the best ways of engaging consumers in addressing modern slavery.

Wednesday 8 December at 2pm-3.15pm.

Published: 16th November 2021

Event: The role of consumers in addressing modern slavery.

Wednesday 8 December at 2pm-3.15pm GMT.

As consumers, we are implicated in modern slavery through everyday consumption choices, as the mainstream economy consists of products and services we purchase as part of our everyday lives that are known to be affected by such practices.

So, what can we do in our role as consumers to stop and prevent exploitation in supply chains? To what extent do we have the responsibility to act? And crucially, particularly for governments and campaigners, what should we think about to engage consumers more effectively in addressing modern slavery?

This event, organised by the Modern Slavery and Human Right Policy and Evidence Centre (Modern Slavery PEC) will bring together people from different backgrounds to discuss the role of consumers in addressing modern slavery.

The basis for the discussion will be the recently published report, entitled Addressing consumer awareness and (in)action towards modern slavery, developed by a collaboration of researchers from Royal Holloway University of London; University of Glasgow and the University of Melbourne.

The research found that raising awareness of modern slavery alone has limited effectiveness – instead, identifying clear practical actions to take is crucial in designing campaigns involving consumers. It also found that using consumer power can be most effectively extended to their role as citizens in pressuring decisionmakers to take action by strategically-designed campaigns using marketing principles. The key findings will be presented by the researchers at the event, providing the basis for further debate.

Event format

• Welcome from the Modern Slavery PEC
• Introductory remarks: Dame Sara Thornton, UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner
• Representative of a research team to present key findings from the research Addressing consumer awareness and (in)action towards modern slavery
• Panel discussion with four representatives of different backgrounds, including consumers, NGO/campaigner and an academic.
• Close from the Modern Slavery PEC

More speakers to be confirmed in due course.