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Report: Football and Modern Slavery: An Investigation Into Topflight Clubs

Executive Summary

As part of the work of the United Nations House Scotland to promote the Sustainable Development Goals [anti-human trafficking efforts are listed under SDG 8], this Report focuses on the way in which English and Scottish top-flight football clubs take action to combat human trafficking and modern slavery. The project was initiated in the light of our focus on the private sector’s responsibility to tackle these issues as well as our Conference on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery at the Scottish Parliament in March 2018.

This Report aims to assess the commitment and transparency demonstrated by English Premier League and Scottish Premiership clubs to combat modern slavery and human trafficking. The first step in assessing was to investigate which clubs have published a Modern Slavery Act Statement. Those clubs from which a statement could be identified were invited by United Nations House Scotland to participate in an interview about their modern slavery policy; the clubs which have not released a statement were also contacted and asked about their reasoning behind not publishing a statement.

Out of all the English and Scottish top-flight clubs required to publish a Modern Slavery Act Statement, only one club agreed to participate in an interview with United Nations House Scotland. A number of other clubs declined and many clubs did not respond at all. Most of the clubs from which a statement could not be identified also failed to respond to the request for their reasoning behind not publishing a statement. These findings set a question mark on the clubs’ intent to combat modern slavery, suggesting a failure of the British football

community to take the issue seriously.

Learn more about the findings of the report.

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