Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement

The University of Birmingham is committed to the fight against modern slavery and human trafficking. We are actively working to mitigate these risks and protect vulnerable individuals through a series of strategic initiatives set out below:

Enhanced Procurement Procedures

We continuously review our procurement processes and templates to proactively identify and assess modern slavery and human trafficking risks when onboarding new suppliers.

Supplier Engagement 

Our Procurement team actively encourages our suppliers to utilise the NETpositive Supplier Engagement Tool to further enhance our efforts in addressing modern slavery. This tool plays a crucial role in engaging our suppliers on modern slavery concerns, fostering greater awareness of these issues among our suppliers. It aids in identifying the steps our suppliers are taking in response to the Modern Slavery Act and provides a valuable mechanism for offering support, guidance, and training to our supply chain partners to facilitate the exchange of best practices among them.

Sustainable Procurement 

We operate at Level 5 (best-in-class status) of the Flexible Framework for Sustainable Procurement. This means both compliant internal documentation and policies, also seeking to influence other public and private sector institutions in making improvements in this activity.

Procurement Oversight

Our procurement team holds significant influence over the University's supplier spend. Additionally, we maintain a central Buying Team to rigorously assess requisition compliance.

While we are not currently aware of any modern slavery activities within our operations or supply chains, we maintain a proactive stance. If any such activities were to be discovered, we pledge to take immediate action to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and to revise our policies to prevent future abuses. 

In the event of non-compliance with, we will assess each case individually and take remedial action tailored to the specific circumstances.

The University is committed to trading exclusively with suppliers who adhere to this statement and modern slavery legislation.


Our approach is grounded in governance. We are working on establishing a Modern Slavery Working Group to review and enhance the University's response to modern slavery and human trafficking within our business, supply chains, and areas of activity, including international operations and improve staff awareness.

Reporting concerns

The University of Birmingham takes all reports of labour rights abuses, modern slavery, and human trafficking seriously. All members of our community, including staff, students, and members of Council, are expected to report any concerns related to modern slavery or human trafficking. Concerns can be reported through the ethical advice and whistleblowing mechanisms provided by the University.

Due Diligence

Recognising the risks in our supply chains, we have implemented due diligence processes via our standard tender documentation. These processes are continuously evolving to assess and address modern slavery risks in high-risk areas and with high-risk suppliers. 


We ensure that all staff are treated fairly, including payment of a real living wage, and that we evaluate suppliers' approaches to fair working practices in line with HR policies.


We actively engage with relevant consortiums, organizations, and partnerships to address modern slavery risks, and we are affiliated with initiatives like Electronics Watch, which monitors labour rights and safety in global electronics supply chains. We are also part of the UKUPC Responsible procurement group.   

Next steps

In 2024 we will focus on providing targeted training for our staff which will raise awareness and enable them to identify modern slavery risks. We are also exploring options for wider training, considering types of training and the categories of staff that should be trained. 

Recommend mandatory training for staff which will equip them with the necessary knowledge and information to raise awareness of the University's modern slavery and human trafficking policy. We have recommended this so that staff can, whatever their role and whenever they come into contact with a potential victim, identify possible cases and know what to do.

The University of Birmingham is dedicated to the prevention of modern slavery and human trafficking. This statement is issued in accordance with section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and serves as our Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement for the financial year ending 31 July 2024. We are committed to reviewing and updating this statement annually.