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Rathbones to Tackle Modern Slavery in 2023 Proxy Season

Investment management services firm Rathbones will attempt to tackle modern slavery on “multiple fronts” in its 2023 proxy season campaign. The firm’s fourth successive ‘Votes Against Slavery’ engagement is underway, led by the Rathbones stewardship team and co-ordinated through the PRI Collaboration Platform, comprises asset managers and institutional investors. This year, it will target 29 FTSE 350 companies which fail to comply with Section 54 disclosure requirements of the Modern Slavery Act (2015). The Act requires all companies above a certain size operating in the UK to report on how they find and eliminate modern slavery within their supply chains, but there is currently no legal redress for companies that fail to comply. Recent data suggests that modern slavery is becoming a “more serious” issue, with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) reporting that 50 million people living in modern slavery in 2022, with as many as 28 million subject to forced labour in a revision of its previous estimates. Matt Crossman, Stewardship Director at Rathbones, said: “With global – and UK – incidences of modern slavery still increasing, there is so much more to be done and we will continue to tackle this issue. We are delighted that we have secured 132 investors to Votes Against Slavery this year, the highest number yet: and an indication of the growing relevance of this collaboration.” 

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