As a company dedicated to helping people improve their lives through learning, we want all individuals that our business impacts to have access to employment that is decent and helps to improve their circumstances. Modern slavery is contrary to our purpose and our company values to be brave, imaginative, decent and accountable.
In line with our values, we have made long-standing commitments to a number of international human rights frameworks that guide our approach to combatting modern slavery. We are a founding signatory to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact, which include the rejection of forced and compulsory labour alongside other fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. As a result, we are committed to ensuring our business, our suppliers and our business partners are free from slavery, servitude, forced or compulsory labour. In our sustainability report we report annually on our progress to meet our commitment to the UN Global Compact and other human rights standards including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization’s declarations on fundamental principles and rights at work, and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
The Modern Slavery Act in the UK requires that companies publish a slavery and human trafficking statement. This covers slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour, as well as human trafficking.
Following the release of our first modern slavery statement last year, we consulted global and local stakeholders to discuss areas of potential concern. As a result of stakeholder feedback, we took steps to increase the breadth and depth of both our work on human rights and modern slavery, as well as our reporting in this area in 2017. Key activities included: conducting a human rights impact assessment of our business, publishing a human rights statement, strengthening due diligence processes and improving transparency in our reporting. We will continue to regularly engage with stakeholders to ensure year-on-year improvement.
This statement is our compliance with the Act covering the 2017 financial year. It covers Pearson plc and all relevant subsidiaries (see the 2017 Pearson annual report for a full list of subsidiaries).