This statement is made pursuant to section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and constitutes our Anti-Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ending 31 December 2016.
The Statement was approved by the board of Marie Stopes International ("MSI") on 6 March 2017.
MSI is an international non-governmental organisation that provides sexual and reproductive healthcare, mostly to girls and women. We operate through branch offices and affiliates in 37 jurisdictions, many of them in the developing world. Our head office is in London.
We have a network of more than 600 healthcare clinics worldwide, we conduct outreach operations, where we provide access to sexual and reproductive healthcare to remote communities, we partner with existing private health providers who deliver services on our behalf, we distribute and market affordable, high quality condoms, contraceptive pills and other contraceptive products to pharmacies, community based distributors and other private providers, and we engage mobile midwives – MS Ladies – to provide access to sexual and reproductive healthcare to girls and women in specific communities where there is unmet need.
The key areas in which we engage suppliers are:
As an organisation that promotes the rights of women and girls, we are absolutely opposed to modern slavery and human trafficking in all its forms. We are committed to enhancing and enforcing our systems and controls to ensure that modern slavery and human trafficking are not taking place in our supply chains or anywhere else in our business.
We have a Modern Slavery Policy ("Slavery Policy") and Implementation Procedures for the Modern Slavery Policy ("Slavery Procedures"), in addition to comprehensive procedures for conducting due diligence on business partners.
The Slavery Policy and Slavery Procedures are disseminated to all staff, and we expect all staff to be aware of, and to discharge, their obligations under them. We will take any breach of the Slavery Policy and Slavery Procedures very seriously: any employee who commits a breach will be disciplined and may be dismissed.
We commit to ethical principles in our employment practices. In particular, we do not use forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour or child labour. Our employees are free to terminate their employment upon reasonable notice. We do not demand fees from anybody who wishes to be employed by us, or retain any actual or potential employees’ identity or travel documents.
When we recruit, we only use recruitment consultants with good reputations, and we expect them to respect the human rights of all candidates. Our ethical principles extend to the terms and conditions of employment that we offer. As a minimum, we ensure that our employees’ salaries and working hours comply with national law, and that our employees have a safe and hygienic working environment, and full access to grievance procedures.
Further information on our employment practices may be found in the Slavery Procedures.
We expect that those who assist us to implement donor funded projects ("external partners"), and those from whom we procure ("suppliers"), have the same approach to modern slavery and human trafficking that we have.
Where we believe that an external partner or supplier is involved in modern slavery or human trafficking, we will take steps to terminate our relationship with that partner or supplier as quickly as possible.
The Slavery Policy and the Slavery Procedures have been disseminated throughout the organisation by email and are posted on the organisational intranet. It is the responsibility of each line manager to ensure that his/her team members are aware of the content of the Slavery Policy and the Slavery Procedures and the zero tolerance approach adopted by MSI.
Employees working in high risk areas, such as human resources and procurement, will be given training tailored to their particular needs, to ensure that they have a high level of understanding.
We recognise the importance of remaining vigilant to identify and address issues associated with slavery and human trafficking in the organisation and throughout our supply chains. The Slavery Policy and the Speaking Up Policy set out a system for reporting concerns for employees, external partners and suppliers, including a speaking up hotline that is confidential and independent of MSI.
This Statement will be reviewed by the trustees annually and updated as appropriate.
Tim Rutter, Chairman of the Trustees of Marie Stopes International
23 May 2017