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The Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) estimates that in 2016, more than 45 million slaves are working in 167 countries. This estimate exceeds the International Labor Organization’s estimate of 21 million people. The point is, modern day slavery is clearly an issue that is not going away.

The Times Higher Educated recently published an article about Katheryn Mitchell, and The University of Derby’s devotion to Anti-Slavery measures. Kathryn Mitchell, Vice Chancellor of the University of Derby, commented, “I am passionate about making a difference, and publicly agreeing to adhere to the principles reinforces the importance of the work we are already undertaking that will make a difference to the lives of the many people who continue to be traded like commodities.”

 

The University of Derby is one of a handful of Universities, joining the global movement to mitigate modern day slavery and publicly commit resources to ethical sourcing. In addition to The University of Derby, Edinburgh University committed to conflict-free sourcing of 3TG (Conflict Minerals) in their supply chain. Source Intelligence interviewed Liz Cooper of Edinburgh to learn more about their program, and the full interview can be found here.

New channels joining the global anti-slavery voice such as higher education are making a difference, but some believe that it will take a much more micro approach than this. Kilian Moote and KnowTheChain.org recently released their sector-specific approach to mitigating slavery in the supply chain. For their initial release, KnowTheChain focused on the Information Communication & Technology (ICT) sector. Apparel is their next industry spotlight, and will be released in the following months.

KnowTheChain’s Industry Specific Benchmark Report is a detailed assessment of companies efforts to mitigate slavery from their supply chains. Companies information is gathered from two main areas; Anti-slavery statements on websites, and publicly disclosed information is gathered and analyzed using a methodology developed by KnowTheChain with the intention of ranking the companies on a scale of 100. Now, this is a benchmark report, so the results from some of the world’s largest companies in the ICT sector were rather weak, but it gives a good indication of where businesses can improve their practices and truly make a difference. Source Intelligence recently featured Kilian Moote on their new webinar, Modern Day Slavery, The Harsh Repercussions of Globalized Supply Chains, where Kilian broke down the benchmark report. The full webinar can be found here.

 

Sector specific approaches and new channels joining the global anti-slavery movement are certainly steps in the right direction, but the anti-slavery movement will truly make headway when companies around the are able to start taking more control of their individual supply chains. Multinational enterprises have supply chains that may include 1,000’s of suppliers and can be very tough to keep track of all suppliers on a one for one basis. It is important for companies, both big and small, to understand there are tools available help and optimize this process. Much like sales optimization and accounting tools, Source Intelligence provides a supply chain tool for enterprises and suppliers to validate and exchange compliance data. To learn more about Source Intelligence and the power of the Source Intelligence Network, click here.