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Developing effective programmes to protect modern corporate supply chains against human trafficking and slavery
Human trafficking and slavery requirements are expanding across the globe. Many companies have yet to begin performing due diligence in their supply chains and acquiring the data they need to publish effective, meaningful stories of how their work protects their operations from modern slavery. Although many enterprise companies have leveraged best practices to deploy policies and procedures throughout their supply chains, mid-market companies often lack the resources to evaluate their own operations in the same way. This makes it difficult to provide their clients with accurate information. Solutions and best practices are emerging to help companies perform due diligence cost-effectively and efficiently. The Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) is one such tool. It helps companies acquire streamlined data from the supply chain in a simple spreadsheet-based format, while operational best practices can be leveraged to build a comprehensive due diligence programme. Companies that provide their suppliers with compliance training and support are in a better position to create a proactive, cooperative relationship in which both organisations work together to keep their operations free of human rights violations. Data automation can allow companies that lack the resources to implement comprehensive internal programmes to mitigate risk as well as, or better than, any internally-developed solution. Supply chain data management service providers can enhance programmes, provide regulatory expertise and deliver workflow automation, allowing mid-market companies to acquire data as effectively as an enterprise, while enterprises have the opportunity to save millions on operational expenses.
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Sarah Carpenter is an advocate for human rights in business operations, chair of Assent Compliance’s Corporate Social Responsibility Steering Committee and former co-chair of the Slavery and Trafficking Risk Template (STRT) Development Committee. She supported the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) in Bangladesh as it played a central role in promoting labour rights reform in the garment sector following the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse. Sarah has also held positions with human rights-focused international development non-government organisations (NGOs). Assent Compliance is the global leader in supply chain data management. Combining leading-edge technologies with extensive supply chain expertise, Assent provides software as a service (SaaS) solutions that manage third-party data to protect corporate brands, increase market accessibility, and reduce operational and financial risk.
CitationCarpenter, Sarah (2020, March 1). Developing effective programmes to protect modern corporate supply chains against human trafficking and slavery. In the Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement, Volume 2, Issue 3.