New Report Details Plans by Commonwealth MPs to Tackle Modern Slavery and Gender-Based Violence

Published 27 February 2024

CPA UK Workshop Delivers Large Increases in Parliamentarians’ Understanding of these Global Harms

Sarah Dickson, CEO of CPA UK, showcases the new report

Sarah Dickson, CEO of CPA UK, showcases the new report

CPA UK has published a report on the workshop it delivered in Nairobi last November, entitled ‘Strengthening Parliamentary Action to Address Gender-Based Violence and Modern Slavery in Supply Chains’.

Concerning two of the world's most devastating and prevalent humanitarian issues, the workshop aimed to increase knowledge and strengthen the abilities of Commonwealth parliamentarians to address gender-based violence (GBV) and modern slavery in supply chains. The report reveals that parliamentarians achieved huge increases in their understanding of these matters.

It also details the plans parliamentarians made to address gaps within their existing legislation, the resolutions they came to as well as key learning and best practices. The report offers profound insight into the concerns and hopes of parliamentarians from across the Commonwealth who are seeking to confront these humanitarian challenges.

As modern slavery in supply chains impacts many countries across their borders, delegates made specific plans to collaborate with other Commonwealth nations to harmonise legal approaches and legislative frameworks; and to amend corporate legislation, compelling companies to undertake human rights due diligence.

To tackle gender-based violence, delegates’ plans included ideas to introduce a Private Member’s Bill to prevent forced marriage and FGM, campaign for greater maternal and childcare funding at the next budget debate and establish a foundation and safe spaces to support affected women and girls.

For more information on the workshop and the resolutions delegates united behind, check out our article here.

Before and after the workshop, CPA UK assessed delegates' understanding of various subjects related to modern slavery in supply chains and gender-based violence. Across all subjects, delegates saw a growth in their understanding; a full breakdown can be found in the report on pages 27-29 of the report. Key findings include:

  • Delegates on the GBV Programme saw a 26% average increase in their understanding of key issues.
  • Delegates on the modern slavery in supply chains programme saw an average increase of 43% in their understanding.
  • Meanwhile, 89% and 100% of delegates said that the workshop met or exceeded their expectations for the GBV and modern slavery programmes respectively.

Sarah Dickson, Chief Executive of CPA UK, commented: “The growth in parliamentarians’ understanding of both modern slavery in supply chains and gender-based violence is a superb result that showcases the importance and impact of CPA UK’s work to bring parliamentarians together on these topics. Armed with greater understanding, parliamentarians will be better equipped to tackle these issues and to scrutinise the effectiveness of existing legislation. Moreover, with delegates attending the workshop from across the Commonwealth, these results will have a truly global impact.  

“The commitments and proposals made by delegates during the workshop demonstrate an engaged group of international parliamentarians, having forged new networks to support one another, empowered to enact positive change for their constituents and to end the injustice of these persisting issues.  

The workshop, which involved close to fifty parliamentarians from twelve Commonwealth legislatures, was funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, and delivered in partnership with the National Assembly of Kenya.  

CPA UK will continue this programme for a second year, details of which will come soon, and will continue supporting delegates in actioning the proposals they made during the workshop.  

The full report can be accessed here.