National legislation

BHR laws to date generally take one of two forms, which mandate either reporting or due diligence. These laws require entities (usually of a certain size measured by revenue or number of employees) operating in a particular jurisdiction to take action as outlined in the chart below:

Type of legislation and requirements

(1) Reporting laws:

Require producing an annual modern slavery statement setting out:

  1. the risks of modern slavery in the entity’s operations,
  2. efforts the entity undertakes to address those risks, and
  3. how effectiveness of these efforts is measured.
  4. Statements must be signed by a senior official and publicly available.


In effect

  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New South Wales (Australia)
  • California (US)

Under consideration

  • Canada
  • EU
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway
  • Switzerland


Penalties for non-compliance vary but there is a growing consensus that some type of sanction (e.g., a fine) is needed to ensure adherence.

(2) Due diligence laws:

Require certain entities to identify and prevent human rights risks that could occur within or in connection to their business operations.


In effect

  • France
  • Netherlands (entry into force suspended to give companies time to prepare for meeting requirements)

Under consideration

  • EU


Penalties for non-compliance vary by jurisdiction (e.g., French law permits courts to set a penalty and permits civil liability, whereas the Dutch law mandates fines).