Are Companies Doing Enough To Ensure Slavery Is Not In Their Supply Chains?

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Are Companies Doing Enough To Ensure Slavery Is Not In Their Supply Chains?

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Where does your cotton come from? Companies begin to look into their supply chains for slavery issues. @sourceintel

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Friday, October 2, 2015 - 2:15pm

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With more companies increasing the amount of business being conducted over seas and the expansion of their supply chains, more focus is being brought to their attention in regard to slavery and forced labor. October 1st has past and now new provisions will take effect from the Modern Day Slavery Act.  This is an effort to increase enforcement and visibility in these supply chains to ensure this type of business practice is not used.

Cotton is a widely used material that is in much of our products that we purchase. What many consumers do not know is that vast amounts of the world cotton are produced in slave like conditions according to an article by Klara Skrivankova on

This is most evident in places such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, where governments force their civil servants to work for several weeks, picking cotton. In almost every case, the conditions are slavery like, with broken down barracks, little to no sanitation, and no running water.     

“Pickers are recruited mainly from the ranks of civil servants. Every year teachers, doctors, nurses and local administration employees have to leave their regular jobs and go for few weeks to the fields. They often sleep in barracks without running water or basic sanitary equipment. They work long hours every day to fulfill the government imposed cotton quotas of cotton. If they refuse or fail to meet the quotas they face a loss of their jobs or at best regular harassment in their workplaces.”

So where does this put companies in tracking slavery within their supply chain? Many companies have taken steps to eliminate the slavery issue and conduct their due diligence when dealing with suppliers. There are still more companies that have not ventured into making sure this issue does not exist. What these companies need to remember is if they conduct business in the UK or in California, they are required to ensure the consumer knows that their products are made from slavery free labor. The retail and apparel industries are most affected by this and should be taking increased measures to ensure that slavery is not a part of their supply chains. To learn more on the new provisions of the anti-slavery laws that are now in effect and to see how performing due diligence can lessen the chances of having slavery issues in your supply chain, click here.  

Keywords: Ethical Production & Consumption | Business & Trade | Diversity & Human Resources | Education | Reports | Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Source Intelligence | Technology | UK Modern Day Slavery Act | Uzbek Cotton | anti-slavery

CONTENT: Article