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Top retailers in the UK want to stop slavery in textile trade

Top retailers in the UK like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Next have agreed to support moves to stop modern slavery in textile trade.

Some retailers in the UK use slavery to supply retailers with goods and services.

That means some of these products have been produced by someone exploited into forced labor. Criminal groups operate in the shadows of supply chains to exploit people for commercial gain.

The retailers have pledged to raise awareness to prevent slavery, protect vulnerable workers and help bring more criminals to justice. Businesses in the UK with a turnover of more than £36 million have to publish annual statements setting out what they are doing to stop modern slavery. But fewer than two in three have complied. Anti-slavery operations are at an all-time high in the country. More than 920 live investigations were conducted by the police in September, in excess of 2,000 victims.

In October thousands of businesses were warned they could face action if they failed to meet legal obligations. The UK has pledged £40 million to aid more than 5,00,000 people around the world who have either survived modern slavery or are at risk of becoming victims. The support will address slavery and trafficking in countries with a high prevalence of these crimes in South Asia.

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