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Ashurst has announced a new action plan calling for the eradication of all forms of slavery, human trafficking, and exploitation.

The firm’s Modern Slavery Action Plan outlines key initiatives Ashurst will undertake in playing a role to combat modern slavery, both as a firm and alongside clients, colleagues and other stakeholders.

The plan was launched on Tuesday evening to coincide with a week of campaigns surrounding Anti-Slavery Day, held on 18 October in the UK – where Ashurst was founded. British founder William Henry Ashurst was an advocate for women’s equality and the abolition of slavery, and his four daughters continued his campaigns with networks across countries and movements.

“As we lead up to Ashurst’s 200 year anniversary, we have been working on a way to honour our founder’s legacy both now and after our bicentenary celebrations in 2022. William Henry Ashurst was a progressive advocate who was deeply committed to social justice, particularly women’s equality and the abolition of slavery,” said Ashurst’s Global Head of Pro Bono and Social Impact, Sarah Morton-Ramwell.

“Recognising the continued growth of all forms of modern slavery and our global presence, we took the decision to expand our existing pro bono work in this area into a global focus for all at Ashurst.

“As this is our first Modern Slavery Action Plan, we fully expect that some of these actions will need to be re-evaluated and reimagined over time; however, it is a means by which we can formally think about the potential role we can play in combatting all forms of modern slavery and the steps we can take to achieve this, as a firm and with our clients, colleagues and other stakeholders.”

Top image: artist’s impression of Henry William Ashurst by current Ashurst senior associate Natasha Kavanagh.