Identifying Slavery in Supply Chains


Sustainability Problem:

Nearly 20-46MM people are trapped in modern day slavery.  Big data can help consumers/companies identify products that have used/benefited from slavery

Relevant Technology:

Big data using cloud technology to identify, track, and report goods/component parts produced using slave labor

Article:  How Big Data is Driving Sustainability – Identifying Slavery in Supply Chains

  • The United Nations International Labor Organization estimates that over 20 million people are forced into labor (quoted much higher in other reports)
  • Individuals forced into these horrid conditions generate as much as $150 billion in annual revenue for their captors
  • This problem has gone largely unidentified because the scopes of these global supply chains are quite extensive and hard to map directly – especially in apparel
  • Enter Made in a Free World, a nonprofit that uses a global database to track and identify materials and goods associated with slave labor
  • Big data is being used to create an open source database and tracking system to identify materials/goods that are associated with slave labor
  • Can be used for both consumers or enterprises to see if they are purchasing end products or component parts that are tied to slavery

Technology stakeholders:

  • Consumers
  • Corporations
  • Non-profit Community
  • Apparel Workers
  • Apparel Vendors/Mills/Etc.
  • Governments

Process Component of Technology Implementation:

  • Partner with corporation in the apparel industry to encourage voluntary supply chain map transparency for better input data (where available)
  • Work to register vendors in order to identify verified factories vs. unverified (unverified being higher risk)
  • Partner with NGO’s and governments in high risk areas to mitigate necessary issues

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