Friday, 18 November 2022
Two researchers from the University of Nottingham have been recognised for their exceptional contributions to standards-making, after winning at this year’s British Standards Institution’s (BSI) Standards Makers Award.
Professor Alexander Trautrims and Dr Akilah Jardine, Rights Lab Associate Director and Visiting Fellow respectively, won the Leadership category in recognition of their effective co-chairing that was invaluable in the development of BS 25700 – the world’s first national standard on modern slavery.
In February 2020, a committee was established in Nottingham consisting of anti-slavery experts from businesses, non-governmental organisations, and academia, combined with experts on risk management and corporate governance. With Alex and Akilah as its co-chairs, the group regularly met virtually over the next two and a half years, resulting in the publication of the new standard being launched on 18 October 2022, the UK’s Anti-Slavery Day.
Designed to help organisations understand modern slavery risks so they can manage them effectively, with the aim of eradicating practices throughout the world, the document has already been downloaded more than 400 times.
I’m incredibly proud to have been awarded this accolade alongside Akilah. At a time when 50 million people are estimated to be in situations of modern slavery on any given day and consumers and legislation are increasingly demanding companies to take responsibility for human rights and labour conditions in their supply chains, our main goal in creating this document was to provide organisations with the current best practice knowledge they need to address modern slavery effectively and in a systematic way.
The BSI Standards Makers Awards are the most prestigious awards BSI gives and were created to recognise industry leaders, consumer champions, committee management, leadership and more.
The judges commented that Professor Trautrims and Dr Jardine not only co-chaired the committee extremely effectively, but that their exceptional leadership has continued beyond publication, as they have led promotional activities to help people and businesses alike understand and choose effective responses to manage modern slavery.
It is estimated that the number of people in modern slavery is ten million more in 2021 than in 2016. Therefore, the work Alex and Akilah have done has never been more important to ensure all businesses are aware of the risks of forced labour, and of what they can do to mitigate this exploitation. I’d like to congratulate them both on this fantastic achievement.
Since the publication of the standard, Professor Trautrims and Dr Jardine have continued their work alongside BSI, with the launch of a brand-new modern slavery awareness training in the pipeline, and BSI has proposed the standard to the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).
I’m delighted that Alex and Akilah have been recognised for the crucial work they’ve been doing in implementing standards for, and raising awareness of, modern slavery. The fact the standard has already been accessed by so many organisations is a testament to the demand there was for such a document.
An official launch of BS 25700 is due to take place in January 2023, with invited guests including the committee, academics, business chiefs, key networks, and members of parliament.
More information is available from Professor Alexander Trautrims in the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham at Alexander.Trautrims@nottingham.ac.uk or; Danielle Hall in the press office at the University of Nottingham, at Danielle.Hall@nottingham.ac.uk or 0115 846 7156.
Notes to editors:
About the University of Nottingham
Ranked 32 in Europe and 16th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings: Europe 2024, the University of Nottingham is a founding member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement.
Nottingham was crowned Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018 – and by the Daily Mail University Guide 2024.
The university is among the best universities in the UK for the strength of our research, positioned seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. The birthplace of discoveries such as MRI and ibuprofen, our innovations transform lives and tackle global problems such as sustainable food supplies, ending modern slavery, developing greener transport, and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The university is a major employer and industry partner - locally and globally - and our graduates are the second most targeted by the UK's top employers, according to The Graduate Market in 2022 report by High Fliers Research.
We lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, a pioneering collaboration between the city’s two world-class institutions to improve levels of prosperity, opportunity, sustainability, health and wellbeing for residents in the city and region we are proud to call home.