Two companies that have worked extensively with Verité to detect and prevent forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains, NXP Semiconductors and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), have won the inaugural Thomson Reuters Foundation Stop Slavery Award. The initiative recognizes companies that have taken concrete steps to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains. The aim is to create a virtuous cycle, a positive paradigm to demonstrate that business can play a critical role in putting an end to modern-day slavery worldwide.
As part of the Ethical Sourcing Forum held in New York City on March 26-27, 2015, Verité and Hewlett-Packard (HP) jointly presented a workshop on solutions to the problem of forced labor and human trafficking in supply chains.
Solving supply chain Code of Conduct violations will take multi-faceted interventions. I was privileged to facilitate a panel on “Slavery in the Supply Chain” at the annual Trust Women Conference organized by the Thomson Reuters Foundation that presented some solutions, and challenges, to an audience of smart and committed people from business, government, media, advocacy and law. Conferences like this demonstrate that there are in many cases existing, effective solutions to pressing problems like forced labor in supply chains. In private conversations, I’ve been emphasizing lately the opportunity and urgency for companies to adopt these existing solutions now rather than await the invention of something new. Much benefit—to vulnerable workers, their employers, brands and other supply chain ‘owners’—can be achieved almost immediately if companies were to take steps like HP has (outlined in this newsletter elsewhere), and as we’ve described Apple doing in the past.