This statement applies to United Bible Societies Association (referred to in this statement as ‘UBSA’). The information included in the statement refers to the financial year 2021.
UBSA is a charity that exists to make the Bible available to everyone, in the language and medium of their choice. To make this possible, UBSA provides training, support and capacity building to United Bible Societies; a membership organisation comprising 150 independent Bible Societies, who work in over 200 different countries and territories, with the primary aim of translating, publishing, and distributing the Bible.
UBSA is governed by its members, with between twenty and twenty-four representatives of member Bible Societies elected to a Global council. The Global Council and its committees govern the membership as a whole (also referred to as the Fellowship), determining overall strategic direction. Seven members of Global Council make up the Executive Board, which constitutes the trustees of UBSA. UBSA is comprised of 120 team members who are located in 40 different countries. UBSA has 4 hubs, which are based in Swindon (UK), Nairobi (Kenya), Miami (USA) and Singapore, and a further office situated in Kitchener (Canada). The majority of team members however work from home.
The main activities of UBSA are split into 4 categories;
- Translation – providing expertise and oversight of global Bible translation projects;
- Publishing – providing Bible Societies with training and expertise in the global publishing and distribution of the Bible;
- Finance – the facilitation of an international grant programme, and the transfer of funds around the Fellowship of Bible Societies; and
- Business development and capacity building support for Bible Societies in the areas of governance, leadership, economic sustainability, and innovation and enterprise.
In order to fulfil these activities, UBSA frequently sends its relevant team members to the locale of the different Bible Societies so that the necessary support can be provided. In addition, annual events are arranged globally for the Fellowship of Bible Societies. For a full list of the counties where the Bible Societies are based, please visit: https://www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/bible-societies/
UBSA considers that modern slavery encompasses:
- human trafficking;
- forced work, through mental or physical threat;
- being owned or controlled by an employer through mental or physical abuse or the threat of abuse;
- being dehumanised, treated as a commodity or being bought or sold as property; and
- being physically constrained or to have restriction placed on freedom of movement.
UBSA acknowledges its responsibilities in relation to tackling modern slavery and commits to complying with the provisions in the Modern Slavery Act 2015. UBSA understands that this requires an ongoing review of both its internal practices in relation to its labour force and, additionally, its supply chains.
UBSA does not enter into business with any other organisation, in the United Kingdom or abroad, which knowingly supports or is found to involve itself in slavery, servitude and forced or compulsory labour.
No labour provided to UBSA in the pursuance of the provision of its own services is obtained by means of slavery or human trafficking. UBSA strictly adheres to the minimum standards required in relation to its responsibilities under relevant employment legislation, and in many cases exceeds those minimums in relation to its employees.
In order to fulfil its activities, the main supply chains of UBSA include those related to:
- the suppliers of global office and IT provisions;
- international travel agents and suppliers, including flights and accommodation, and conference facilities; and
- Bible Societies, where they are in receipt of grants from UBSA, which are used to pursue our charitable objectives, which can include building projects.
UBSA does not have any significant concerns in the areas of its core business regarding slavery and human trafficking. Should there be any concerns, it is in the area of procurement of services in particular global contexts, such as travel, accommodation and construction, where there may be a greater cultural tolerance of conditions that could increase the risk of modern slavery, and also ancillary purchases, such as locally sourced gifts at conferences.
In general, UBSA considers its exposure to slavery/human trafficking to be relatively limited. Nonetheless, UBSA has taken steps to ensure that such practices do not take place in its business nor the business of any organisation that supplies goods and/or services to it.
UBSA carries out due diligence processes in relation to ensuring slavery and/or human trafficking does not take place in its organisation or supply chains.
UBSA has not, to its knowledge, conducted any business with another organisation which has been found to have involved itself with modern slavery.
In accordance with section 54(4) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, UBSA has taken the following steps to ensure that modern slavery is not taking place:
- rolling out a Whistleblowing policy to United Bible Societies;
- regular visits to Bible Societies who by value are our biggest suppliers;
- Review the modern slavery statements as part of due diligence before entering into any major contracts;
- undertake regular organisational risk assessments, incorporating consideration of modern slavery;
- prepare and send internal communications to raise awareness of the concept of modern slavery and associated risks; and
- modern slavery will be considered as part of the periodic review of all relevant corporate policies.
Key performance indicators
UBSA has set the following key performance indicators to measure its effectiveness in ensuring modern slavery is not taking place in the Organisation or its supply chains:
- all Bible Societies who receive grants from UBSA to have signed the grant conditions which will include a modern slavery statement;
- to have completed due diligence for all major contracts; and
- to demonstrate that the agreed internal communications plan has been delivered.
UBSA has the following policies which further define its stance on modern slavery;
- acceptable behaviour policy;
- whistleblowing policy;
- safeguarding children and adults at risk;
This statement is made in pursuance of Section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2010 and will be reviewed for each financial year.