Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement 2023
This Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement (“Statement”) is made by Rouse International Holdings Ltd ("Rouse" or "we") for the financial year ending 30 April 2023 under section 54(1) of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the "Act").
This Statement sets out the steps that Rouse is taking to prevent slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chain.
Rouse is committed to meeting or exceeding ethical business and legal compliance standards. We have a zero-tolerance approach to modern slavery and human trafficking and we are committed to acting ethically and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships, and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure modern slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in our own business or in any of our supply chains.
Structure, Organisation and Risk
Rouse was established in the UK in 1990 and is recognised as a global leader in providing services relating to Intellectual Property operating as a closely integrated network with more than 700 people working out of 19 offices in 13 jurisdictions. As a professional services provider, providing intellectual property services relying on a supply chain largely of regulated professional services businesses, we consider the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking occurring within our own business as low.
However, we acknowledge the importance of remaining vigilant to the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in our supply chain and we therefore adhere to a Board approved Code of Conduct and undertake an extensive ethics and compliance programme to uphold Rouse's standards and mitigate those risks. The areas we identify as having a greater risk of slavery or human trafficking relate to the provision of professional services from developing economies and goods and services from third-party business support suppliers, such as office and IT equipment, cleaning and maintenance services.
Rouse's Board approved and adopted Rouse’s Modern Slavery Policy in April 2023 to reflect our commitment to upholding ethical business and legal compliance standards. The policy acknowledges modern slavery as a crime and a violation of fundamental human rights and sets out our responsibilities, and of those working for and on our behalf, in observing and upholding our position on modern slavery and human trafficking, and provides information to those working for and on our behalf on how to identify and report concerns regarding modern slavery and human trafficking.
Implementation of the Modern Slavery Policy falls under the responsibility of our General Counsel and we made available various routes for staff to report if they suspect an instance of modern slavery, with an anti-retaliation stance embedded within our Whistleblowing Policy to protect any individuals who raise a concern.
Supplier Due Diligence
We are committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking throughout our supply chains, consistent with our disclosure obligations under the Act. We expect the same high standards from all our suppliers. We expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards. We are working on developing a process to communicate our zero tolerance on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business and supply chains to all suppliers, contractors, and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and reinforcing this as appropriate thereafter. If Rouse staff believe or suspect that a supplier is in breach of our Modern Slavery Policy or that it may occur, they may report it knowing our anti-retaliation stance is embedded in our Board approved Whistleblowing Policy.
Training on our policies, and on the risk our business faces from modern slavery and human trafficking in its supply chains, forms part of the induction process for all individuals who work for us, and further training is provided as necessary.
Approved by the Rouse Board, November 2023