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Modern Slavery Statement 2016


In keeping with Save the Children International's (SCI's) vision of a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation; SCI’s mission to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives; and SCI’s values of accountability, ambition, collaboration, creativity, and integrity, SCI is committed to improving its practices to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. SCI welcomes the renewed focus that the Modern Slavery Act 2015 has brought to issues that cause so much tragic harm to children around the world; namely slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour, and human trafficking (together ‘Modern Slavery’). 

SCI's structure, governance and management

Save the Children is the leading independent organisation for children. For nearly 100 years, we’ve worked to ensure all children realise their rights. Save the Children works in around 120 countries to achieve breakthroughs in the way the world treats children. Save the Children comprises 28 members (26 full members and 2 associate members) as well as SCI. All the members of Save the Children, with combined revenues of over $2 billion, are working to deliver a shared strategy – Ambition for Children 2030 – with international programming operations being conducted through Save the Children International; a UK charity and company limited by guarantee headquartered in London, operating through SCI’s network of 5 regional offices and 56 country offices.

SCI's supply chains

SCI has a very complex, dispersed, supply chain. SCI is not involved in manufacturing, agriculture or retail activities, which are typically high risk activities for Modern Slavery. However, given that at least 80% of SCI’s procurement is sourced locally by SCI’s 56 country offices – including in some of the toughest countries in the world – we take SCI’s risk to Modern Slavery very seriously.

  • $392m third party, supplier spend
  • 2,500 supply chain headcount
  • 363 warehouses
  • 3,703 vehicles in SCI’s fleet

SCI's policies on slavery and human trafficking

SCI is committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in SCI’s supply chains or in any part of SCI’s business. SCI’s Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Policy reflects SCI’s commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all SCI’s business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking are not taking place anywhere in SCI’s supply chains. 

Protecting children from trafficking and exploitation is a core activity in SCI’s child protection work in both humanitarian and development contexts. Save the Children also works with partners to build livelihood programming to help children garner decent work opportunities, reducing the risks of exploitation. Examples of this include helping young people in Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda to gain access to quality education and learn the value chain of the agricultural sector to gain employment opportunities.

Save the Children’s report ‘Young Invisible Enslaved: The child victims at the heart of trafficking and exploitation in Italy’, published in November 2016, is an example of SCI’s campaigning efforts aimed at raising awareness of issues related to Modern Slavery.

As a rights based ethical organisation various existing Save the Children policies already indirectly combat Modern Slavery, for example:

Due diligence processes for human trafficking and modern slavery

Well managed supply is critical to:

  • Help us deliver high quality programmes on time
  • Ensure accountability to beneficiaries
  • Enable compliance with donor rules
  • Mitigate against misappropriation and fraud

Therefore, our procurement is governed by a series of overarching principles, as follows:

  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Value for money
  • Proportionality
  • Equal treatment and non-discrimination

Every employee, partner or volunteer, regardless of their role in the programme, is responsible for ensuring that these principles are followed at all times for all procurements.

As part of SCI’s initiative to identify and mitigate risk, SCI subjects suppliers to a due diligence process that considers:

  • That suppliers are legitimate businesses with the capacity to meet SCI’s supply needs
  • That suppliers are not engaged in practices that breach SCI’s policies
  • That suppliers are not on any government blacklists
  • The supplier’s reliability and experience

The level of due diligence required is related to the value of an order, the nature of the goods purchased and the risk SCI is undertaking when procuring their services. Donors may also require specific due diligence activities to be carried out.  Risk assessments are conducted on high risk suppliers. 

SCI has developed a specialist Child Safeguarding and Human Trafficking Risk Assessment tool that is available for SCI’s country offices.

Supplier adherence to SCI's values and ethics

SCI has a zero tolerance approach to human trafficking and modern slavery. To ensure all those in SCI’s supply chain (including contractors) comply with SCI’s values and ethics SCI has in place a supply chain compliance programme that includes supplier site visits for high risk programmes such as pharmaceutical and nutrition. SCI also liaise with peer organisations in order to share know how and experience.

SCI’s supplier contracts include stringent ethical compliance provisions. SCI requires suppliers to comply with SCI’s core policies, including SCI’s Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking policy. This policy was used for the first time in relation to Save the Children’s Search and Rescue Response, which launched in August 2016, recognising the significant risks that refugees and other migrants face when fleeing troubled home-lands


To ensure a high level of understanding of the risks of human trafficking and modern slavery in SCI’s supply chains and SCI’s business, SCI aims to begin to provide comprehensive training to SCI’s staff in 2017, including incorporating Modern Slavery within all related areas for which mandatory training is already provided, including:

  • New joiner HR induction
  • Fraud, Bribery and Corruption
  • Child Safeguarding

SCI's effectiveness in combating human trafficking and modern slavery

Whilst it is difficult to know at this stage what impact SCI’s existing efforts have made on the prevalence of Modern Slavery in SCI’s supply chain, SCI is clear that any progress already made must act as a foundation to help us re-double SCI’s efforts in a smart, effective manner.

SCI will therefore maintain and review the following key performance indicators which SCI intend to be accountable for in future Modern Slavery statements:

  1. Proportion of staff members who receive training on Modern Slavery
  2. Action taken to train SCI’s suppliers and partners in Modern Slavery risks and embed SCI’s Modern Slavery policy in their approaches
  3. Monitor the proportion of SCI’s supply chain visited
  4.  Monitor any reports and accounts of Modern Slavery in SCI’s supply and corrective action taken

Further steps

Following a review of the effectiveness of the steps SCI has taken so far to ensure that there is no human trafficking and Modern Slavery in SCI’s supply chains, SCI intends to take the following further steps in 2017 to combat human trafficking and modern slavery:

  • Embed the newly published Save the Children International Human trafficking and Modern Slavery Policy and related supplier contract clauses
  • Incorporate Modern Slavery Act training into existing mandatory employee training 
  • Review partner and humanitarian response risk assessments to ensure that they consider risks relating to Modern Slavery
  • Review SCI’s supplier due diligence process in order to improve awareness and detection of Modern Slavery

This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes SCI’s slavery and human trafficking statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2016. It was approved by the Board of Save the Children International.


Sir Alan Parker

Chair of the Board
Save the Children International