Modern Slavery Statement
World Vision UK is a charity devoted to improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children through child-focused international relief, development, and advocacy. World Vision UK works primarily with children, families, communities, and churches as well as various non-governmental organisations, international authorities and governments to achieve the best outcomes for children.
World Vision UK has a zero-tolerance stance on acts of modern slavery and human trafficking. It is pro- active in taking steps to prevent such acts occurring within its own supply chain and to ensure that on programmes it only partners with organisations that also observe appropriate ethical standards.
As World Vision UK is not a commercial organisation within the meaning set out in s54(2) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the ‘Act’) (because its income is mostly derived from grants and other donations and its turnover is below the threshold set out in s3(1) of the Act (Transparency in Supply Chains) Regulations 2015), it is not required to publish a statement. World Vision UK therefore publishes this statement on a voluntary basis.
This is a slavery and human trafficking statement within the meaning of section 54 of the Act for the financial year ended 30 September 2022 (‘FY22’) and outlines World Vision UK’s continued efforts towards tackling modern slavery and human trafficking in its supply chain and wider activities. The structure of this statement follows the order of section 54(5) of the Act.
Structure, Activities and Supply Chain
World Vision UK is a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales and a registered charity. The Board of Trustees of World Vision UK is responsible for the overall control of the organisation, its strategic direction and ensuring that it is properly managed.
World Vision UK is part of the World Vision Partnership (‘WV Partnership’), a network of entities in a voluntary partnership which works in close to 100 countries providing services to people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. The WV Partnership comprises World Vision International (‘WVI’) (a US-incorporated legal entity which provides international coordination of the WV Partnership) and its branch offices, subsidiaries and other legal entities (which are not WVI subsidiaries) across the world (each a ‘WV Partnership Entity’, and together the ‘WV Partnership Entities’). World Vision UK is a WV Partnership Entity.
World Vision UK is one of several ‘support offices’ which raise funds for the WV Partnership’s overseas relief and development programmes. Programmes financed by World Vision UK-raised funds are usually delivered by in-country WV Partnership Entities, with technical and other support provided by World Vision UK as required. Most of World Vision UK’s expenditure on overseas programmes is therefore made through other WV Partnership Entities. World Vision UK has long-term relationships with other WV Partnership Entities and there is a culture of transparency within the WV Partnership. All WV Partnership Entities share the same zero-tolerance stance in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking and are subject to the WV Partnership policy documents described below.
World Vision UK provides grant funded project start up training for staff and partners who will deliver projects in communities overseas. The training content includes: the details of what is considered modern slavery, who is affected, what the signs are and what staff should do if they suspect that modern slavery is taking place.
Programme expenditure is sometimes made through non-World Vision partners where this is appropriate for effective implementation. This statement sets out the steps World Vision UK takes to ensure that third parties engaged in World Vision UK-funded programmes are also taking appropriate action to mitigate the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking. This includes putting in place appropriate community level feedback and complaints mechanisms.
World Vision UK uses various suppliers to enable it to carry out its charitable activities, including in the areas of fundraising, marketing, IT, office facilities and employment. World Vision UK does not generally work directly with suppliers in sectors which are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking such as construction or farming; however World Vision UK remains vigilant and has policies and procedures in place to mitigate the risk of human trafficking and modern slavery affecting its supply chain.
Policies and Procedures
World Vision UK’s internal policies and the WV Partnership documents adopted by World Vision UK, as listed below, all have a role to play in tackling modern slavery:
- World Vision UK Ethical Policy – ensures that through due diligence procedures consideration is given to the track record of significant donors, partners or suppliers in areas including human rights and/or workers’ rights and use of bonded or child labour. During FY22, the World Vision UK Ethical Policy was updated and approved by the Board of Trustees.
- World Vision UK Code of Conduct Policy - emphasises World Vision UK’s commitment to conduct that is ethical and legal, that World Vision UK opposes illegal acts in any of its activities and that World Vision UK requires adherence by its personnel to all applicable laws and organisational policies.
- World Vision UK Risk Management Policy - ensures effective management of risks to which World Vision UK is exposed through its activities.
- World Vision UK Whistleblowing Policy – provides procedures for internally reporting specific types of misconduct as well as illegal acts generally. The policy is reviewed annually and approved by the World Vision UK Board of Trustees.
- World Vision UK Contract Policy – confirms that the core elements of due diligence include that reasonable steps must be taken to confirm compliance with our Modern Slavery Statement in choosing our partner organisations.
- World Vision UK Safeguarding Policy – provides a standard of conduct for all employees, consultants, contractors, partners, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers to ensure we are protecting members of the communities in which we operate and who participate in our programmes, our employees and the personnel of those working with us. Further details of this policy and the associated behaviour protocols are set out in the next section.
- The WV Partnership Global Supply Chain Management Procurement Manual requires consideration to be given to the principles of sustainable procurement, including relating to social impact, when making procurement decisions.
- The WV Partnership Guide to Humanitarian Standards reminds staff involved in the implementation of programmes of the risk of trafficking and directs staff to use socially responsible businesses and local labour and ensure that procedures are in place to provide a safe working environment and appropriate remuneration.
- The WV Partnership Whistleblowing procedure. The WV Partnership uses a leading third-party provider of ethical reporting services to support the WV Partnership’s ‘whistleblowing’ mechanism. A confidential telephone hotline and an online reporting tool are available in all countries in which the WV Partnership works to staff, partners, contractors and others wishing to report suspected illegal or unethical conduct by the WV Partnership or its personnel. This includes reporting any concerns in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking which may be taking place within World Vision UK’s business or supply chain.
Safeguarding Policy and Behaviour Protocols
The World Vision UK Safeguarding Policy, which is reviewed annually, prohibits all World Vision UK representatives from hiring children in any form of child labour (which it defines as work that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous or harmful to children or that interferes with their schooling). The policy includes enhanced standards for reporting, prevention and managing responses to harm or abuse of beneficiaries and associates.
The World Vision UK Behaviour Protocols are also reviewed annually and state clearly what is unacceptable behaviour, calling out sexual exploitation and abuse, all other forms of abuse, humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour, and the hiring of children for any form of child labour which includes ‘house help’. We are committed to continuous improvement of our safeguarding efforts to protect all people and ensuring we do no harm to others.
World Vision UK provides Board members, employees, consultants, contractors, volunteers, interns, casual workers and agency workers with the World Vision UK Safeguarding Policy.
Annually, Board members and employees are required to confirm their adherence to our Behavioural Protocols.
Where consultants, contractors or other third parties engaged by World Vision UK, or their employees or any person or entity engaged by them in connection with the performance of a contract with World Vision UK, may have access to beneficiaries and or personal data in the course of performing their contract with World Vision UK, in addition to being provided with the World Vision UK Safeguarding Policy they are requested to sign as confirmation that they will adhere to the Behaviour Protocols.
World Vision UK has Supplier Due Diligence procedures in place to minimise the risk of World Vision UK engaging directly or indirectly with an organisation involved in unethical practices or of such an organisation being involved in programmes funded by World Vision UK. These procedures ensure that ethical purchasing is a consideration in the selection of suppliers and for significant suppliers, an ethical due diligence checklist must be completed which requires staff to consider the track record of the supplier in areas including human and workers’ rights and use of bonded or child labour.
In the context of programmes, World Vision UK completes due diligence checks on all partners and requires those partners to carry out checks on their sub-contractors to confirm that neither the partner nor their sub-contractors have any association or involvement in excluded sectors or practices.
World Vision UK has identified the following as excluded sectors and practices and avoids association with them: tobacco, gambling, weapons, coal, pornography, exploitative credit, environmental degradation, unethical marketing techniques, infringement of workers’ rights, bonded or child labour, slavery and human trafficking, sexual or racial discrimination, abuse of indigenous rights and conflict financing.
In addition, partners are asked to provide World Vision UK with a copy of their ethical policies, including in relation to labour practices and human rights. Where it is proposed that a partner is engaged by another WV Partnership Entity in the programme country, World Vision UK requires that WV Partnership Entity to carry out appropriate due diligence. World Vision UK staff review the results of this exercise to ensure that only partner entities which meet World Vision UK’s standards are involved in World Vision UK-funded programmes.
World Vision UK’s agreements with downstream partners on programmes, both WV Partnership Entities and non-World Vision partners, include obligations relating to workers’ rights, including that the partner will not employ, enslave, engage or otherwise use forced labour, trafficked labour or child labour.
World Vision UK provides an induction training module for new employees that includes specific content on modern slavery. The training module provides guidance on what modern slavery is, who is affected, what the signs are and what staff should do if they suspect that modern slavery is taking place.
Reporting and Investigating Modern Slavery Violations
A report of a suspected violation of World Vision UK’s Modern Slavery Statement should be made through the following means:
To make an online report: www.worldvision.ethicspoint.com
Whistleblowing Helpline telephone number: 08000 328483. (This is a freephone telephone number.)
Contact the World Vision UK Safeguarding Manager directly: by telephone 01908 841008 or Mobile +44(0) 7808476697 or email email@example.com
Contact the UK Charity Commission by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone 0300 066 9197
Contact the Modern Slavery Helpline by telephone: 0800 0121700
All reports will be received by the World Vision UK Safeguarding Manager, who will review the report and take responsibility for organising an investigation.
World Vision UK will always place the need for survivor-centred support at the forefront of its investigations into modern slavery.
All suspected violations reported to World Vision UK will be investigated and comprehensively documented and will include an assessment of potential risks to the organisation, proposed mitigations to the organisation and will consider whether reports to regulatory organisations are required.
The details of all confirmed modern slavery violations will be reported to the Strategic Leadership Team and the Board of Trustees to ensure that preventative actions are understood and fully implemented.
Incidents in FY22
World Vision UK had no reports of Modern Slavery or human trafficking during FY22.
World Vision UK remains committed to keeping its policies, procedures and training under review and updating these as needed to maximise the contribution it makes to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking internationally.
This statement has been approved by the Board of Trustees of World Vision UK on 25 November 2022.