In 2016, Verité launched the Responsible Sourcing Tool (RST), providing a resource to federal contractors to meet the anti-trafficking compliance measures in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The tool was developed with support from the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. In addition to federal contractors, the interactive website helps companies, advocates, and consumers detect, prevent, and combat trafficking in global supply chains and meet the growing number of legal, regulatory, and market demands for attention to severe exploitation in global supply chains. After a year of operation, Verité takes a look at the progress that has been made.
Since its launch, the Responsible Sourcing Tool has had over 35,000 individual page views, 9,000 sessions, and 3,000 unique users, which is 20 percent more than the industry average for supply chain management websites. According to Allison Arbib, a Research Director at Verité, the site is unique in its combination of high-level background information, detailed research on human trafficking in specific supply chains, and practical tools – like the model compliance plan and downloadable templates – that companies can use. The tools are based on Verité’s extensive experience and knowledge of sourcing practices in global supply chains. Verité hopes that the depth of information on RST can help companies build or strengthen the compliance management systems needed to protect the most vulnerable workers in their supply chains.
The website currently contains extensive research on 11 key sectors and 43 commodities at risk for trafficking or trafficking-related activities, ten comprehensive risk management tools, case studies and links to guidance from other expert organizations. In addition, compliance tools tailored specifically to the seafood sector are available as a model for how the base tools can be adapted to the specificities of other supply chains.
The RST will continue to be expanded. Information on five individual supply chains is updated each quarter, and country-based risk information and other resources are updated annually. In addition, the seafood tools will be updated next year to incorporate recent changes in the industry’s best practices. Verité is currently in the process of creating a new set of sector-specific tools and a website tutorial will be added in the near future.
For more information, please contact Allison Arbib.
Simi Esan, a Verité Intern, contributed to this article. For more information about Verité’s Internships, visit our Careers Page.