Given that the large majority of modern slavery exists in forced labor, effective solutions must be pursued in partnership with companies. For this reason, the Made in a Free World solution was developed to help businesses understand and work to eliminate the forced labor for which they may be directly or indirectly responsible. Made in a Free World assessment is a cost-effective and outcomes-focused process designed to address these issues efficiently. The primary goals of its implementation strategy are to: 1) bring corporate policies into compliance with international and local laws regarding practices of forced labor; and 2) identify and eliminate unscrupulous subcontractors within the supply chain. Identification will be carried out by licensed independent third-party assessors who help companies find and eliminate forced labor from supply chains. Reassessment of compliance will occur every two to three years based on complexity of supply chain and purchasing practices. If found, forced labor will be addressed on a situational basis, including efforts to bring subcontractors into compliance and remediation that takes victim support and protection needs into account. Rehabilitation and appropriate payment for work will be implemented in all cases.
Once a company's corporate policies are found to be in compliance and a supply chain assessment shows no sign of forced labor or enslavement of workers, the Made in a Free World certification will be awarded, and the company will be able to market itself as Made in a Free World verified. The company will also be included in the Made in a Free World network, which is visible to the public. This Network enables partner companies to utilize social media and technology to promote and profit from their successful corporate responsibility on the issue. Additionally, members of the Made in a Free World network will benefit from preferential purchasing and sharing of best practices with other companies and suppliers within the network.
1. Corporate Engagement (September 2012 - January 2013)
Undertake discussions with individual businesses to explain the benefits of engagement, the implementation strategy specific to their corporate supply chain, and the anticipated associated costs. If the contract is agreed upon and signed, initiate Made in a Free World (MIAFW) partnership.
2. Corporate Policy Certification (January - February, 2013)
The first stage of assessment is to ensure that corporate policies are in compliance with international laws addressing forced labor and trafficking. Using an online survey with external verification, this stage enables a business to internally evaluate its written documents addressing labor and personnel with respect to forced labor. The MIAFW auditor will work with the company to identify necessary additions in order to bring corporate policy into compliance.
3. Supply Chain Assessment (February 2013 - March 2014)
Upon initial review, a company's supply chain will be mapped by a licensed third-party assessor based on sourcing and procurement data. The MIAFW algorithm will be applied to determine the risk of slavery associated with each link in the supply chain. These risk indices are assigned using the MAIFW database describing prevalence of forced labor by commodity and location of procurement. If quantified risk is determined to be above a predetermined threshold, the auditor will be deployed to investigate that location for use of forced labor. There, the investigator will assess employee data and activities, labor contracts, and labor brokers or recruiters used. Using the MIAFW digital assessment tool, the investigator will automatically send survey responses, GPS location, audio clips, and photographic evidence to a central data collection center.
4. Final Review (March - June 2014)
If forced labor is found, intervention will be implemented using remediation and rehabilitation techniques with legal proceedings if necessary. Once unscrupulous employers found within a supply chain have been replaced, or a supply chain contractor or subcontractor has been given the opportunity to come into compliance, an audit report will be submitted. For those successfully verified by Dun & Bradstreet as being free of forced labor, the Made in a Free World tag will be awarded. The company is then able to market itself to consumers as 'Made in a Free World' verified and will be promoted as such within the Made in a Free World network.
Human trafficking represents one of the worst human rights abuses in history. Also called 'modern slavery', human trafficking by definition is a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for the purposes of compelled labor or commercial sex through the use of force, fraud or coercion. Its victims number in the many millions.
In the past decade, the issue of human trafficking has gained widespread global attention. While much of this attention has been directed toward sexual slavery, the majority of trafficking victims are coerced into various forms of forced labor and servitude. Much of this compelled work exists in the extraction and processing of raw materials. These commodities are eventually used to make the products that we buy. Therefore businesses are directly affected by human trafficking, though they are often unaware of it. Because an increasingly globalized workforce has become indispensable to the function and prosperity of many companies, a corporate supply chain often extends far beyond an employer's direct management and oversight. While a company's internal labor practices may be clean, abuse and exploitation may exist deep within their supply chain at the level of commodity procurement and initial manufacture. Thus corporations are often unaware that their purchasing may actually perpetuate the enslavement of both children and adults.
However, as recent media has shown, corporations may now be held accountable for human trafficking found within their supply chains. Association with these crimes can cause consumer loyalty to wane and stock prices to sink. The rise of social media has meant that these stories spread like wildfire. Thus, businesses must be aware of how their supply chain may be affected. They must address these issues urgently, not only for the lives of the victims enslaved but also in terms of the direct risks and benefits to their reputation, their consumer base, and thus to their bottom line.
MIAFW is seeking businesses to join its work. Currently SAP is partnered to help businesses analyze their supply chain data. MIAFW also seeks additional media support. Current supporters include: WSJ, Wired, Fast Company, Vogue, and Reuters.