Eight Great Free Resources to Help Your Business Combat Modern Slavery: Courtesy of the Minderoo Foundation
By now, you’ve heard about the Modern Slavery Act, and the issues with human trafficking within global business practices that it works to solve. As you likely know, there are an estimated 40 million people worldwide now held in some form of modern slavery, making this one of the most important issues our world—and by extension, our business community—must tackle.
There are 600 or more active investigations into modern slavery around the world. But big and small governments are urging individual businesses to take an active role in understanding the ways in which modern slavery might integrate itself into their supply chains, and do their best to stamp out these practices wherever they are found. Additionally, because only seven of the G20 countries are taking an active role in this fight, but modern commerce is a highly interconnected space, it is vital that global citizens from all countries step up and do what’s right for their world and their business.
But how? Five years after the official adoption of the modern slavery act, many organizations are left with few tools to empower them on their own journey towards ending this issue. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled this handy list of the best tools from the Minderoo Foundation, including an extensive Business Toolkit to help your company end this horrible practice wherever it lies in wait. The toolkit is broken into six main navigational sections. We’ve compiled some of the most useful from each section, and created our own three-part process. Many of the resources discussed can be found under the handy business toolkit box on the landing page of the End Modern Slavery wing of the site. Together, this guide works to eradicate the role of individual businesses in unwittingly making the problem of modern slavery worse. Do you want your business to be on the up and up? If so, keep reading.
Part I: Educating Yourself and Your Business (Understanding the Problem)
As with so many things, the first step in the journey to end modern slavery is understanding the problem, its stakes and its scale. Luckily, there are a ton of resources that can help here.
1. Some Basic Statistics – The Global Slavery Index:
The Minderoo Foundation has a robust well of resources to help tackle this problem whether you are a beginner to the issue of modern slavery or not. A good place to start is to read up on some statistics with help of the Global Slavery Index Highlights Page, a group of infographics to help break the problem down. It can be found under “Our Findings” on the site.
Figure 1: Infographic Highlights
On the Quicklinks Download section of the site, you’ll also find the MSA yearly statements, as well as a downloadable version of The Global Slavery Index (GSI), “the world’s most accurate country-by-country ranking of the number of people in modern slavery, including in the hardest to access countries” —and a guide to navigating it—to help break down this issue from the inside in great, granular detail.
2. Open Source Learning Modules:
Are you a hands-on learner? Well, you and your business are in luck. The Minderoo Business toolkit includes a handy set of open source learning modules that can help provide that training needed to take on modern slavery in your own business and business community. Find links in the toolkit or follow them here and here.
Figure 2: An Example Learning Module in Action
3. Awareness Raising Videos:
Want to educate your employees as well as yourself? Along with the Infographics, you might want to share some “awareness-raising videos” found on the site, to get them invested in issue. These videos underline the humanity of the issue at hand and bring an distinctly human element to the battle to end modern slavery in all forms. You can find links to these videos early in the Business and Investor Toolkit, or one of the most popular, “Supply Chain Sustainability School” linked here.
Part II: Check Yourself – Supply Chain Due Diligence, Codes of Conduct, Corrective Action and Remedy
It’s one thing to know about a worldwide issue like modern slavery. It’s quite another to apply that knowledge to your business in a proactive, solutions-based way. Want to get started tackling the issue? We can help.
4. Codes of Conduct and Company Policies:
Now you understand the problem, and how your business might be implicated. So how do you turn knowledge into solutions? Well, this part of the site provides a list of existing action platforms, standards and codes of conduct for you to begin to model your own business from. It even includes a sample code of conduct. And a separate toolkit for responsible recruitment and one for responsible hiring for brands.
5. Ethical Recruitment Tools to Address Modern Slavery:
Not all guides are created equal. But those linked in the business toolkit under the “Ethical Recruitment” heading do the job well. From understanding The Ethical Trading Initiative to linked guides from International Organizations like the International Labor Organization, these sites provide a comprehensive series to not only understanding where your business comes into play in the scope of this issue, but implement future practices to lead your business forward.
Part III: Holding Others Accountable – Legal Frameworks, Reporting, Mitigating Impacts
Now that you know the lay of the land for your own business, it’s time to jump in and see what tools you can use to hold not only yourself, but others, accountable.
6. Knowing your Due Diligence (Or, looking it up):
Firstly, check out the comprehensive list of diligence laws and legislation from around the world—from places from Australia to California to France—to see what’s already in place, and help understand how your business and those around you might fall into the rule of those laws.
7. Interactive Resources:
But of course, it’s equally important to make sure that your own supply chain and associated businesses are on the up and up. Here, turn to downloadables on the site like the Guidance for Reporting Entities document, and the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, which can help guarantee accountability across the board.
8. Staying in the know with The News:
For an issue as complex and wide-reaching as Modern Slavery, it is as important to stay up to date on your knowledges and practices than it was to learn about them in the first place. Find the News Tab under the main heading of the website, and check back frequently for updates to the global situation, as well as any new legislature in the works. Of note, you can also find related key news in our MSA Resources Center and FAQs.
Figure 3: The “News” Tab Up Close
We’ve only just scratched the surface as far as the resources available on The Minderoo Foundation’s site and toolkit. The fact of the matter is, there are more resources available there than would make sense to cover in the span of a short article.
We encourage you to take a look around the site beyond the resources explained here. And, in either case, we hope that this guide to some of the most useful information has acted as a highlight reel to all the helpful tools available, and hopefully sparked your interest in getting involved, for the good of your business and the world at large. Because only together we can combat Modern Slavery.