Now is the time to regain momentum and call on governments, business and people around the world to act.

Photo by Rory Lewis -

When I presented the Call to Action to End Modern Slavery at the United Nations General Assembly in 2017 there was an international momentum focused on eradicating this, the greatest human rights issue facing the world. Today more and more people are becoming vulnerable to modern slavery, trafficking and forced labour due to a number of global challenges, including climate change and the war in Ukraine, yet at the same time I fear that modern slavery has fallen down the global political agenda.

Signing the Call to Action was the easy part. Acting on what is necessary to effect change as a result is much harder. That is why I want to bring together a Global Commission on modern slavery to reinvigorate the political will to address this issue internationally and to focus on those areas that can make most difference such as government legislation and business supply chains.

Such work can only be effective if it has the support of those working in the field and if it addresses the areas that need most action. I am grateful to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office who funded this scoping study to identify the need for a Global Commission and the issues such a group should focus on.

The message from the study is clear. There is a need to bring international efforts together and to provide greater political impetus to support the very good work being done by so many organisations around the world.

More evidence is needed on best practice in countering modern slavery worldwide and we need to fully engage businesses in identifying slavery and forced labour in their supply chains. Critically any such group should represent all parts of the world and should bring together government, business, NGOs and survivors.

With vulnerability increasing and the eyes of the world on other issues, now is the time to regain momentum and call on governments, business and people around the world to act. I look forward to bringing such a Global Commission together and working with others around the globe who share my determination to eradicate modern slavery.”

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2016-2019. She served as Home Secretary from 2010 – 2016. She was instrumental in introducing the Modern Slavery Act 2015, the first legislation of its kind which inspired other countries and states to follow with their own transparency laws.