New Freedom Seal to identify firms fighting human trafficking

26 March 2015

Businesses can now apply for the use of a visual mark to denote their efforts to combat modern slavery.

The Freedom Seal is designed for businesses to communicate to consumers they have due diligence mechanisms in place, and are actively taking steps to prevent forced labour and human trafficking.

The seal has been created by the Tronie Foundation, a Washington-based non-profit organisation dedicated to driving awareness of human trafficking and slavery.

Companies applying for use of the seal must meet the three criteria of actively raising awareness of modern-day slavery, building local capacity to support human-trafficking survivors, and establish systems to prevent slavery in their products and services.

It has been developed in conjunction with world supply chain experts and around 30 major companies across Europe and North America.

The initiative was launched at the Sedex Global Responsible Sourcing Conference in London yesterday.

“The use of human slavery is still prevalent today,” said Rani Hong, founder and chief executive of the Tronie Foundation, and human trafficking survivor. “The International Labour Organization estimates that almost 29 million people are victims of forced labour and nearly 19 million victims are exploited by private individuals or enterprises.”

“I created the Freedom Seal to raise awareness of this problem, help consumers make informed decisions about where to spend their money, and to celebrate companies that are helping to change the marketplace of victimisation.”

Tom Smith, acting general manager at Sedex Exchange, said modern-day slavery posed multiple risks to businesses and their supply chains.

“We need more transparency, and greater collaboration among businesses, in order to tackle the issue,” he said. “Good practice on tackling modern-day slavery does exist and we encourage others to follow this.”

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