Map supply chain to highlight slavery risks, says Sedex

Gurjit Degun
posted by Gurjit Degun
8 April 2014

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9 April 2014 | Gurjit Degun

Businesses should map their supply chains, review supply chain practices and hold their suppliers accountable to control anti-trafficking risks in their operations.

These recommendations are in a briefing aimed at tackling modern-day slavery by not-for-profit organisation Sedex Global. It includes information from Verité and Sedex on the causes of modern-day slavery, how workers are affected, and indicators of forced labour in factories and on farms.

The Modern Day Slavery Briefing highlights the specific vulnerabilities of migrant workers, the role of labour brokers, and the mechanisms that can result in modern-day slavery, with guidance on what businesses can do to reform recruitment practices to protect their workers.

Launched at the 2014 Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference today, recommendations include raising awareness, establishing appropriate policies, mapping supply chains, assessing impact and reviewing progress and increasing supplier accountability and collaboration.

Marianne Voss, report author and stakeholder engagement lead for Sedex in North America, said: “With surging news coverage highlighting cases of slavery, focus and scrutiny on global supply chains is increasing. We hope this new guidance helps more global businesses to play their part in contributing to the eradication of modern-day slavery within their supply chains through commitment, transparency and collaboration.”

Dan Viederman, chief executive of Verité, added: “Let us not ignore the continuing and largely hidden tragedy faced by millions of workers who are forced to work in appalling conditions: because they owe money to their recruiter; because their passports have been confiscated by their employers; or because their visa ties them to their job. Despite their severity these are solvable problems.”

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