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Modern slavery statement

Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is committed to preventing the existence or prospect of modern day slavery and human trafficking within its organisation, and to ensuring that its supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. As part of the Charity sector, ODI recognises its fundamental responsibility to take a robust approach to slavery and human trafficking. ODI is also part of the Modern Slavery Strategy and Implementation Group (MSSIG) which supports implementation of, and provides advice on, the government’s modern slavery strategy.

This statement sets out the steps that we have taken to eliminate, as far as possible, the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking taking place. These steps also include recent changes to improve compliance from our suppliers through adherence to our contractual terms and procurement & bid committee functions which monitor and assess risks including modern slavery prevention.

Our organisational structure

ODI is a registered charity structured as company limited by guarantee. The charity has a wholly owned trading subsidiary, ODI Sales Limited, which provides an alternative corporate mechanism to further the charitable objectives of ODI. Both companies operate from a London based office in the UK. ODI has registered a new EU office in Brussels, Belgium.

Our business

ODI is a leading global affairs think tank. We inspire people to act on injustice and inequality. We focus on research, convening and influencing, to generate ideas that matter for people.

ODI’s research has included work that has addressed issues in relation to modern slavery and human trafficking, most notably its work on child labour and exploitation.

Our supply chain

ODI’s supply chain is comprised of external businesses, self-employed consultants and partner organisations often located overseas to aid the diligent collection of primary research. ODI engages Research Associates spread across 16 countries and works with research partners in 55 countries. Our local supply chain also includes professional services from lawyers, accountants and other advisers, as well as operational facilities and catering services.

We manage our international supply chain by contracting our research work out to other charities, NGOs, universities and individual contractors who have track records of working with us, or to contractors and all office based services who are selected in line with our procurement policy.

We are committed to ensuring there is transparency in our own business and in our approach to tackling modern slavery throughout our supply chain. We expect the same high standards from all of our contractors, suppliers and other business partners. As part of our contracting processes which includes terms to enforce compliance with The Modern Slavery Act, we include specific prohibitions against the use of forced, compulsory or trafficked labour, or anyone held in slavery or servitude and we expect that our suppliers will hold their own suppliers to the same high standards.

The Procurement and Legal, Contracts and Compliance functions have overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them understand and comply with this policy and are given any required training.

Our policies

ODI is committed to ensuring that no modern slavery or human trafficking exists in its supply chains or in any part of its business. Our opposition to modern slavery and human trafficking is confirmed in our overall mission; reflecting our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all business relationships, and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to eliminate, as far as possible, the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking taking place anywhere in our business or supply chains.

ODI operates the following policies:

  • Ethics and Professional Conduct Statement
  • Ethics in Research and Policy Making Guidelines
  • Anti-Harassment and Bullying Policy
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Whistleblowing Policy (for staff and contractors – sets out more about how concerns can be alerted and escalated and protection of whistleblowers)
  • Grievance Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Contractor Guidelines
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Code of Conduct for staff and contractors
  • Procurement Policy
  • Fundraising Strategy, including ethics due diligence checklist
  • Code of Conduct


ODI have become members of the United Nations Global Compact indicating its commitment to supporting the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. We are in the process of establishing membership to the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) with a view to adopting and implementing the ETI base code. An organisational statement of compliance will also be developed; outlining how ODI’s business activities help to develop local markets/institutions whilst complying with international principles on labour and ethical employment.

Due diligence

ODI does not support or knowingly deal with any business involved in slavery or human trafficking. We will not work with any party that we suspect is connected in any way with slavery.

Checks are carried out by the research programme when any new supplier is contracted; due diligence is ongoing and under review to further improve supplier vetting.

ODI have implemented a database to improve sub-contractor tracking, incorporating a review of supplier procurement controls.

A bids committee and a fundraising due diligence checklist is in place to review all major bids which includes assessments of our supply chain and their ability to comply with our policies as well as our Donor ‘s Modern Slavery policies.