GBCAT members are determined to take a proactive approach to tackling human trafficking, which remains widespread globally and is recognized as one of the biggest business risks, with prevalence throughout the supply chain. According to the International Labour Organization and the Walk Free Foundation, more than 40 million people around the world were victims of modern slavery in 2016.

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Among the 40 million victims of modern slavery, approximately 25 million were involved in forced labor. In 2016, 16 million people were victims of forced labor exploitation in the private sector in industries such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, and mining.

Modern Slavery by Sector

Source: https://www.alliance87.org/2017ge/modernslavery#!section=4

Challenges in Tackling Modern Slavery

The difficulty of mitigating risk of human trafficking/forced labor in supply chains is compounded by several factors

Lack of Transparency

  • Low visibility into Tier 2+ recruitment practices
  • Trafficking often found in the informal economy

Lack of Disclosure

  • Suppliers not forthcoming or don’t know what to report on
  • Audits are inaccurate

Lack of Capacity 

  • Lack of expertise or resources from suppliers to address issue 
  • Brands lack access to resources to help address

Lack of Incentives

  • Few commercial incentives for suppliers to improve
  • Suppliers and brands may not understand the business case  

Systemic Challenges

  • Human trafficking is often present in countries that maintain a weak rule of law 
  • Corruption is an enabler of human trafficking 
  • Lack of unions to help provide protection

Business Models 

  • Brand procurement practices
  • Seasonality drives need for short-term labor generally from abroad 
  • Lack of requirement for direct contracting

Forced labor, human trafficking, and modern slavery are issues for all companies everywhere, but it will only be through focused and cooperative means that it will be effectively eliminated. GBCAT provides just such an engagement platform.
— Brent Wilton, Director of Global Workplace Rights at The Coca-Cola Company