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Laborlink detects risk of forced labor

  • Published: 23 March 2018
  • Author: ELEVATE

Modern slavery encompasses human trafficking, forced labor, slavery, or it can refer to slavery-like practices of exploitation that prevent a person from leaving, such as threats or violence, coercion, or abuse of power.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and Walk Free Foundation estimate 16 million people are in forced labor in the private economy worldwide. Half of these men and women are in debt bondage working to repay a debt that they have no hope of repaying. The second highest number of victims of forced labor are in the Asia-Pacific region.

Companies are increasingly expected to assess, mitigate and prevent forced labor throughout their business activities. A concern raised mostly by advocacy groups, there is a growing demand for transparency in supply chains, including from the investment community in their analysis of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks and in tracking companies’ responses to emerging regulations.

The UK Modern Slavery Act, California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, French Corporate Duty of Vigilance Law, and other emerging legislation in Australia and elsewhere are placing companies under intensifying legal pressure to ensure that their supply chains are free of forced labor and human trafficking. However, most companies lack effective means to confirm ethical sourcing at all supply chain levels and / or address the issue.

Laborlink’s approach to surfacing forced labor across the value chain

Worker engagement supported by technology is a tool for better detection and risk analysis, enhanced reporting, and prevention by engaging with vulnerable workers in hard to reach places. This includes engaging workers at the factory level, community of employment, and community of origin

Enhanced Detection

  • Mobile technology allows for anonymous and more reliable worker feedback.
  • Community-based methodology reaches vulnerable populations who may not be visible on-site.

Meet Reporting Obligations

  • Most data on forced labor is at the regional or national level, making it difficult to meet reporting obligations under new legislation.
  • Worker engagement enables in-depth analysis and visibility to true conditions, which enhance annual reporting.

Prevention and Education

  • Partnering with NGOs offers a pathway to tackle the problem through education and prevention.
  • Survey data informs tailored educational programming and mobile messaging.

Download the full Laborlink Forced Labor Report to see case examples from Target, Vodafone, and Amnesty International


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