Dear Humans, stop the traffik

Modern Slavery in the Supply Chain

Blockchain for Good (BC4G) and STOP THE TRAFFIK is forming a coalition to harness the power of people and emerging technologies such as blockchain to shine a light on modern slavery and generate systemic disruption at all levels.

Prime Minister Theresa May defines modern slavery as “the great human rights issue of our time’, vowing that her government will lead the way in defeating this ‘evil’*. However, if we are to truly defeat it on a global scale, we need a model of systemic disruption that tackles this crime at its core.

Modern slavery is a hugely profitable industry with very low risk; its perpetrators are rarely brought to justice. What’s more, unlike a drug or a gun that has a one-off or limited use, people - men, women and children – can be exploited and abused day in, day out, for years. And it could happen to anyone, in any community in the world…. in any industry, in any supply chain, for any brand that you or I consume. In fact, it would not be presumptuous to assume that you are probably wearing something right now that has been tainted by modern slavery.

As the then Home Secretary, May published the Modern Slavery Act 2015. STOP THE TRAFFIK played an integral part in the initial call for the inclusion of a supply chain transparency requirement and maintained the lobbying of government throughout. Now as Prime Minister, May has launched the first ever government task force on modern slavery.

“The Modern Slavery Act has delivered enhanced protection and support for victims and a world-leading transparency requirement on businesses to show that modern slavery is not taking place in their companies or their supply chains.” *

Whilst great strides have been made in recent years, the reality is that the majority of fashion brands still lack full oversight over the factories - and thereby the working conditions - within their complex and multi-tiered supply chains. The industry needs more visibility, transparency and accountability at every stage of production, to help tackle the modern slavery that is endemic from the planting of the cotton seed to the sale of the final garment.

STOP THE TRAFFIK, Blockchain for Good and Edelman are developing the tools and knowledge to help the fashion industry develop this transparency. Working with experts and academics in supply chain management, as well as organisations specialising in emerging technologies - such as Blockchain - this coalition is harnessing the power of people and technology to shine a light on modern slavery and generate systemic disruption at all levels.

We will be discussing this project in further detail and the progress STOP THE TRAFFIK, in partnership with IBM and Facebook, has made since the launch of the Centre for Intelligence-Led Prevention (CfILP) and the STOP APP at IBM London on Tuesday 25th April 2017.

*Theresa May article in the Telegraph, 30 Jul 2016 on setting up the first government task force on modern slavery.