Verité formally unveiled the CUMULUS Forced Labor Screen™ membership platform on June 11th at the Global Forum for Responsible Recruitment and Employment 2018 in Singapore. CUMULUS is a technology-driven (patent pending) approach to using shared data for labor supply mapping and forced labor risk screening in supply chains.

Verité’s CUMULUS provides member companies with shared access to a secure, online platform where they can cost effectively map the labor supply chains of their suppliers and analyze, assess, and prioritize forced labor risks introduced by the recruitment practices of their suppliers, and their recruitment agents, in both receiving and sending countries.

With philanthropic support from Humanity United, the Skoll Foundation, and the Agnes Varis Trust, we pilot tested the concept in Southeast Asia with companies in one sector, 30 of their suppliers and 250 recruitment agents from five countries. Based on the pilot results and interest levels, we developed CUMULUS as a secure online platform. Member companies will be joining the live platform beginning this month.

CUMULUS uses a comprehensive risk framework, reflective of the internationally accepted definition of forced labor (Convention 29 of the International Labour Organization) and human trafficking (Palermo Protocol), as well as guidance on indicators of forced labor and human trafficking from other leading standards, to evaluate practices that make workers vulnerable to human trafficking and forced labor. Member companies identify their participating suppliers and the suppliers then complete a remote comprehensive due diligence assessment facilitated by Verité.

Member companies can also share information such as their social audit reports, self-assessment questionnaires, and compliance investigations. The information from member companies and their suppliers is fused with external sources – including government records, civil society reports, and potentially testimonies from workers – to provide new analytical insight and highlight common exposure among member companies to problematic recruitment practices and agents.

Verité uploads verified risk information at the supplier and recruitment agent level to a secure online platform. This platform is hosted and managed by Verité, and only member companies with permission from individual suppliers who completed the due diligence assessment can access supplier data. Risks related to the practices of recruitment agents used by other member companies’ suppliers that are identified in data contributed by supplier or company members are confidentially shared across the platform on a limited and source-redacted basis. Member companies access a web-based dashboard that graphically maps the complex network of actors in their labor supply chain and presents detailed risk information about their suppliers and the recruitment agents they use in both receiving and sending countries. Members will also be able to assess and prioritize risk based on factors such as migration corridors, workforce demographics, and specific recruitment-related practices in their supply chains.

Through CUMULUS, company members are provided with previously unavailable, actionable, data-driven information from multiple sources and recommended preventive measures, including suggestions on how to prioritize due diligence. With this information, member companies can continuously monitor and reduce the risks of forced labor to workers in their supply chains and support a marketplace for ethical recruitment. The due diligence assessment is repeated at least annually, and other risk information is refreshed continuously as it becomes available.

 

For more information, or to arrange a demonstration, contact Declan Croucher.