Webinar – Disrupting forced labor: using predictive data to detect subcontracting and forced labor

  • 20 May 2020
  • 11:00 am (HKT)

Forced labor is endemic in the global supply chain. Escalating consumer demand for a high volume of cheap clothes, including “fast fashion,” has created pressure on price and lead time, and local factories compete for this business at the lowest price. To meet these demands, 1st tier suppliers sub-contract through layers of “sub tier” factories – many of them informal (i.e. unregistered) – to access a flexible labor supply at an even cheaper cost. Forced/bonded labor thrive under these conditions. COVID-19 may further increase the vulnerability of supply chain workers especially in lower skill, lower margin industries with migrant workers and a significant informal sector. This includes the apparel, fashion and textile industry.

ELEVATE is partnering with the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DIFD), to reduce the prevalence of forced labor via subcontracting, using predictive modelling. We are developing a predictive model to identify Tier 1 suppliers in the apparel sector in India that subcontract to informal-sector manufacturers. Once risky suppliers are identified, ELEVATE will offer its support in the remediation process, from carrying out root cause analysis, building supplier capacity, and providing a monitoring tool and strategy.

Our ability to eliminate forced labor requires visibility and traceability into the hidden parts of supply chains beyond tier 1. This means understanding and mapping supply chain relationships, identifying unauthorized subcontracting and revealing lower tiers. It also means finding tools, techniques and a business case to disincentivize the use of both unauthorized subcontracting practices and forced labor. Brands that want to tackle forced labor can use predictive analytics as part of their solution.

This webinar is the first in the series “Disrupting forced labor.” This webinar will be co-presented by ELEVATE and GFEMS. In this 60-minute webinar we will:

  • Introduce the current state and trends of forced labor in global supply chains;
  • Highlight how COVID-19 will increase the diffusion of forced labor practices;
  • Discuss what brands can do to tackle the increasing risk of forced labor; and
  • Explore how data science can help identify unauthorized subcontracting practices.