An estimated 50 million people are being used as slave labor around the world, according to the United Nations. Despite its prevalence in the media, forced labor can remain hidden in supply chains.

This raises moral and business complexities for organizations, and a better understanding of the global situation around the issue can help organizations combat forced labor within their own supply chain.

Why should organization’s care about forced labor?

  • Forced labor is a clear violation of human rights and runs counter to ethical business practices.
  • In a world where consumers are increasingly putting environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues at the center of their purchasing decisions, organizations need to ensure that their products and services are produced ethically and responsibly. A company’s reputation can be seriously damaged if it is found to be using forced labor in its supply chain. This can result in negative media coverage, legal action, boycotts by consumers, and damage to the brand.
  • Furthermore, a PwC survey in 2021 found that 79% of investors said the way a company manages ESG risks and opportunities is an important factor in their investment decision making.
  • Many countries have laws and regulations that require companies to ensure that their supply chains are free from forced labor. Companies that fail to comply with these laws and regulations can face legal and regulatory penalties, including fines, suspension of licenses and legal action.
  • The use of forced labor can create financial risks for companies, including increased costs associated with managing and mitigating risks, and potential disruptions to supply chains.

Forced Labor Mini Guide

At Descartes, we’ve put together a mini guide as a starting point for organizations. This guide can help organizations understand:

  • the scope of the problem
  • the various forms that forced labor can take that some you may not realize
  • the different countries and regions where people may not traditionally expect forced labor to be prevalent
  • the industries in which forced labor is most commonly found

With more governments committed to fighting forced labor and implementing new legislation to tackle forced labor means companies are being held accountable for their supply chains. Organizations are increasingly required to show transparency in their operations and evidence of their actions protecting workers’ rights.

Why you need to download the Forced Labor Mini Guide

Understanding these laws and regulations can help ensure that your organization is not only trying to avoid fines for noncompliance or save their reputation from damage but also doing what is morally correct.

Ultimately, the fight against forced labor requires a concerted effort from individuals, companies, and governments around the world. However, by better understanding the global situation around forced labor and taking action to fight against it, organizations need to play an important role in helping to eradicate forced labor violations.

Download the mini guide as an on-hand information source to tackle forced labor within your supply chain.