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Modern Slavery Statement

Together with the BBC, we are making ongoing efforts to tackle the issues and problems of modern slavery.

BBC CHILDREN IN NEED AND CHILDREN IN NEED LIMITED MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT

FINANCIAL YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 2021

This statement is made pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.  It constitutes BBC Children in Need and Children in Need Limited’s sixth statement setting out the work undertaken during the financial year ended 30 June 2021 to further identify, prevent and address modern slavery across our organisations and supply chains.

ORGANISATION

BBC Children in Need exists to change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.  Our vision is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them to reach their potential.  BBC Children in Need has one wholly owned trading subsidiary, Children in Need Limited and together we have 150 employees based across the UK.

We have a varied supply chain covering services which are provided within the UK, a wide range of products and branded merchandise including those manufactured overseas, and UK based licensees.  We are committed to working to ensure everyone who works for and with us is treated fairly, is able to work safely and has their human rights protected and respected.  We have a responsibility to work to ensure modern slavery is not present in any form across the charity and within our supply chains and we are committed to ensuring our practices support this.

As the BBC’s corporate charity, BBC Children in Need is supported by, and seeks to align itself to the policies of the BBC in a number of ways, including our approach to modern slavery.  Members of both BBC Children in Need and Children in Need Limited are core members of the BBC Group’s Modern Slavery Working Group and feed in to BBC Group modern slavery programmes and initiatives.  You can read the BBC Group’s Modern Slavery Statement here.

APPROACH TO TACKLING MODERN SLAVERY

We have adopted a targeted approach to identifying and tackling ethical issues, including modern slavery, in our organisation and supply chain.  During 2020/2021 the impact of the global pandemic has been felt both across our organisation and across our supply chain.  This has presented challenges but we have continued to implement, embed and develop our programme, with a key focus being on the roll-out of our updated Ethical Policy. We will continue to keep our approach under review.

In line with our programme we have structured governance and management arrangements focused on the issue of modern slavery

  • Our work to tackle modern slavery is overseen by internal stakeholders. This is a focused group, based on risk areas within the organisation.
  • We continue to be part of the BBC’s Modern Slavery Working Group which further facilitates collaboration across the BBC Group. The Modern Slavery Working Group is also supported by internal subject matter experts, and external specialists, where beneficial.
  • Our Trustees receive an annual update on our activities in relation to tackling modern slavery.
  • Our Ethical Policy and programme are overseen by our Executive Team.

We have continued to ensure our people and suppliers are aware of our policies which highlight our ethical requirements

  • Our policies and guidelines across our organisation and the BBC set out our expectations of our people, stakeholders and suppliers. All staff involved in sourcing or licensing of products are also expected to follow the requirements of our ethical trading programme.
  • Our Ethical Policy sets out our expectations of our suppliers. It is in line with the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and reflects the International Labour Organisations Conventions and Recommendations including clauses covering forced labour. This policy forms part of our standard Supplier Terms of Trade, Freelance Terms and our agreements with corporate partners and licensees, except in cases where licensees’ own policies are deemed to set a higher standard than or equivalent to ours. The policy sets out our requirements on labour standards and is prefaced by a list of minimum standards that partners must meet before we are able to work with them.  It is issued at the point of engagement with the individual or supplier and is reviewed periodically, with the most recent review resulting in an updated policy being issued this year.  A copy of our Ethical Policy is available on request.
  • We continued to communicate the BBC’s Code of Conduct internally to all members of the organisation. The Code sets our expectations of ethical conduct, fair, respectful treatment, and also highlights how our employees and others engaged on BBC Children in Need business may raise concerns.

Risk assessment is a crucial factor in informing and determining the priorities and focus of our modern slavery programme

  • We conducted an annual risk assessment to identify where greater ethical risk exists to help target our activity. Examples include where workers are more likely to be at risk of ethical issues, including modern slavery, based on the type of product or service being provided, their geographic location and any known previous issues or the scale and type of our relationship with suppliers. These factors affect our ability to influence and impact change.
  • We continue to determine that our risk is greatest in our supply chain categories of official merchandise, branded product for promotional use and licensed product. Our due diligence measures described in this statement therefore continue to predominantly focus on these areas.

Our due diligence processes were embedded across the organisation and strengthened for key licensing partners and new suppliers

  • We have continued to focus on embedding the more detailed due diligence processes that we have previously introduced into our licensed product approval process.
  • In addition, we focused on our largest licensing partner and have undertaken more detailed due diligence by reviewing factory audits for key ranges of licensed product.
  • We continue to review ethical trade questionnaires or audit reports for our core products.
  • Our on-boarding and tender processes for new suppliers and licensees continue to apply focus to our ethical trade requirements to ensure consistency in evaluating potential partners’ ethical trade processes and controls prior to the start of any relationship.
  • Finally, we continued to seek support from internal specialists within the BBC to conduct a second verification of our due diligence where we consider this appropriate.

We continue to build awareness across key internal and external stakeholders

  • Training on ethical and fair trading remains part of our awareness approach for relevant members of staff, along with regular knowledge sharing.
  • Responsibility for oversight of ethical compliance, particularly within trading and licensing, sat with our Commercial Director and Head of Partnerships during 20/21 to reflect its importance and to drive overall consistency in implementation within operational teams.
  • We also provide guidance documentation to product manufacturers and licensees on how to follow our ethical trading programme, underlining that minimum standards on forced labour and other serious issues must be met before a factory can be approved for production.
  • Our whistleblowing policy includes human rights issues, such as modern slavery. This policy continued to be available for our staff to use if they become concerned. There were no issues relating to modern slavery raised over the last year.

FUTURE PLANS AND PRIORITIES

We appreciate the significance of our role in helping to identify, prevent and help eradicate modern slavery. We are committed to continuously improving and evolving our practices in relation to operating a responsible organisation, sourcing products and services ethically, and helping to raise standards across the industry.

In line with our programme, during the next year we will:

  • undertake an annual risk assessment to continue to inform our Modern Slavery Programme;
  • review our approach in preparation for changes as a result of the government review into transparency in supply chains;
  • continue to develop our programme by carrying out further reviews of our trading operations and identify any resulting actions required to strengthen our programme;
  • ensure that as a condition of supply, any manufacturer or importer of BBC Children in Need core product, and/or licensed product, will need to submit a factory audit and an ethical audit, conducted within the last 12 months, and we will specify appropriate auditors; and
  • Focus communications and awareness-raising activity on key risk areas.

This Statement was approved by the Board on 7 December 2021.

Rosie Millard
Chairman, on behalf of BBC Children in Need.

Further information

Download statement

Get in touch if you have any questions or queries

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