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We have an internal network of lawyers committed to supporting pro bono work in the area of anti-trafficking and anti-slavery. Global estimates suggest that over 40 million people are in conditions of modern slavery. We work with a broad range of leading charities and think tanks to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking.

One example of our work in this areas is our ongoing support for NGO Focus on Labour Exploitation ("FLEX") with the development of its global Labour Exploitation Accountability Hub.

For this project, we undertook research in 15 different jurisdictions in relation to the laws governing modern slavery, forced labour and human trafficking. We brought together lawyers from 9 different HSF offices, together with partner law firms to deliver a level of detailed analysis, across a breadth of jurisdictions that would otherwise be beyond the resources of an NGO. Since the initial research, we have continued to support FLEX by undertaking periodic update exercises of the information contained on the Accountability Hub.

This work started in early 2015, just as the UK Modern Slavery Act was coming into force. That ground-breaking  legislation has raised issues of modern slavery and supply chain transparency to board level within clients. This project has allowed HSF to be at the forefront of, and further grow our expertise in, these issues. It has contributed to HSF's market-leading capability in relation to Business and Human Rights, an HSF practice area that spans both pro bono work and our fee-earning work.

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This project has been an amazing opportunity for a broad range of people from across the world to work together on something that is not only a fundamental human issue, but also a cutting-edge legal issue that is of great importance to our clients. Getting to know so many global colleagues whilst doing something so worthwhile has been a really rewarding experience

Oliver Elgie
Senior Associate (Disputes) and lead associate on the FLEX project