On-Demand Webinar Tackles Forced Labor
(3BL Media/Just Means) - Most of us probably think of slavery as a shameful thing safely tucked away in our collective past and which happened to specific ethnic groups. Sadly, that is just not the case as we have previously reported on forced labor in Thai fisheries, to name one of the many examples of this type of human rights abuse in the contemporary world.
According to Free the Slaves, which raises awareness of the issue, there are between 21 and 36 million people trapped in some type of slave work in the world, generating huge profits for their traffickers and those who benefit from their free work.
Globalization has spawned complex supply chains which are extremely complex to audit for all types of ethical issues, forced labor included. More recently, international companies haave come under intense scrutiny to demonstrate there is no forced labor embedded in their products. It is a key social responsibility issue which is becoming more and more visible, which is a good thing.
In order to help decision-makers, business leaders and other stakeholders better understand how to continuously address the challenging issue of modern day slavery, Source Intelligence, which promotes transparency and visibility to the supply chain, has put together an on-demand webinar, featuring a team of experts that includes Killian Moote (Know The Chain), Patricia Jurewicz (Responsible Sourcing Network) and Arleen Ponce (Source Intelligence).
"A company must be dedicated to stay on top of emerging regulations. They should also utilize new tools and resources that help eliminate forced labor and encourage a strong ethical sourcing program," Source Intelligence says.
Last year, the issue of slavery gained prominence with more media coverage and government action.
The UK, for example, passed its Modern Day Slavery Act. Now, all UK based companies with revenues in excess of £36 million have to publish an annual Anti-Slavery Statement. It must include a description of the company's efforts to eliminate any trace of slavery and human trafficking within their business and supply chains and it must be published on the homepage of the company's website with a link to their individual anti-slavery statement.
Over in the U.S., advances were made with President Obama’s Executive Order 13627, which came into effect. The Order strengthens protections against trafficking in persons in federal contracting and can be read in full here.
In other countries similar measures are being taken to tackle the problem that affects mostly women and children, and which is spread across several industries, from catering to commerce, farm fields, factories, mines and construction sites, to name but a few. Companies and consumers alike have a responsibility to ensure they are not financing this type of crime and destroying lives in the process.
As Know The Chain says on its website, "the conversation must shift from awareness raising, to action. We must discuss who is acting, who is succeeding, and where the opportunities lie to create stronger and more widely used best practices."
Image credit: Source Intelligence