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VSO Modern Slavery Statement


Policy statement

VSO is committed to ensure that there are no instances of modern slavery or human trafficking occurring within the organisation or that of its supply chains.

VSO as an organisation

VSO as an organisation provides training to heighten awareness of modern slavery and how to report it, incorporating this into our criminal practices awareness training for all.

VSO suppliers and supply chain

In keeping with VSO’s vision of fighting poverty we source goods and services wherever possible locally in the 24 countries that we operate (primarily located in Africa and Asia Pacific). Our supplier base is broad and diverse and is comprised of organisations best able to meet our requirements.

VSO is committed to ensuring there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chain. Our Global Procurement Policy requires all staff and volunteers, regardless of their role and for all procurement whatever the value to follow the procurement principles of fairness, transparency, ethical behavior, compliance and ensuring Value for Money.

The Policy also states ‘Procurement activity must not support organisations involved in criminal activity such as fraud, corruption, forced labour (modern slavery) and other human rights abuses’.

The Procurement Policy demands whoever is involved in procurement must also refer and adhere to the HR Policies and training (Global Code of Conduct, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Global Criminal Practices Policy) so that they are aware of their responsibility in this area.

For high value or high risk procurement, our pre-qualification questionnaire for tenders requires suppliers to declare whether they or anyone in their organisation has been involved in offenses under the Modern Slavery Act (among many other criminal or illegal acts). Suppliers are also required to state if they use sub-contractors and whether they have processes in place to check whether any of the above circumstances apply to their subcontractors.

The level of due diligence undertaken is related to the value of the procurement and the nature of the goods being purchased. In some instances Donors may also require additional specific due diligence activities to be carried out.

Before contracts are awarded due diligence checks are done on suppliers. This is done at country office level and includes (but is not limited to) numerous sanctions lists checks (which contains names of individuals or organisations who are known to be involved in financing crime or terrorism), reference checks, and site visits, where appropriate.

VSO is committed to tackling modern slavery in its supply chains and has a strict zero tolerance approach. If an existing supplier is suspected of having links to involvement in modern slavery, interaction with that supplier will immediately cease.

VSO is focused on ethical and responsible business practice in our global supply chains and will continue to review and improve in this area.

Review

This policy statement and the actions it requires will be reviewed annually and published.