Where slavery is found in the supply chain, corruption will never be far behind. This was one of the points raised at a recent breakfast meeting organised by CIPS on the topic of modern slavery – risks and resolutions.
Corruption, it was said, often acts as a facilitator for slavery – and if you can stop that happening at the beginning you may be able to cut out slavery at the end. This corruption can take the form of bribes and payments to officials to hire workers from other countries, and the fees charged to the workers themselves. In addition, debt-bonded migrants are one of the biggest risks to supply chains when it comes to slavery; in Malaysia alone there are an estimated 100,000 foreigners working in electronics factories supplying major brands who fall under the definition of forced labour.
Three steps were suggested for businesses to begin to tackle the issue:
- Screen risk across the supply chain to identify the issues your organisation may be exposed to.
- Carry out detailed investigations to find the gaps, and look at your procurement systems to work out why they were not spotted.
- Engage with suppliers to build their capacity and knowledge, and then hold them to account.
CIPS is aiming to act as a hub for the tools and best practice available. For more information take a look at: