Russia, Slovakia, India and Pakistan are all ‘severe risk’ source countries
India, Pakistan, Greece and Turkey have been identified among the top source countries at risk of modern slavery in the fashion supply chain – with new research also providing a tool to help firms find, assess and eradicate the problem.
The investigation by the British Standards Institute (BSI) suggests UK firms are exposed to an increased risk of modern day slaves entering the country from 66% of global nations.
Russia, Slovakia, India and Pakistan are all ‘severe risk’ source countries, according to the ‘Trafficking & Supply Chain Slavery Patterns Index’, with Greece and Turkey categorised as ‘high risk’ countries. Of the G7 nations, Italy is identified as a ‘high risk’ nation – partly due to the conflict in Syria.
The index allows users to cross-reference the source countries of displaced people, and their likelihood of being exploited in destination countries – helping businesses find, asses and eradicate modern day slavery and trafficking from their global supply chains.
It covers the movement and exploitation of people between 191 source countries and 193 destination countries, with each combination of countries ranked from low to severe based on the risk score.
“The Index is unique in that it looks at the intersection and relationship between source countries of displaced people, and the likelihood of being exploited upon arrival in destination countries. Other indexes are one dimensional – looking only at source or destination countries,” explains its lead developer, Michiko Shima.
Following the 2015 Modern Slavery Act, slavery in the supply chain has become a major concern to fashion businesses who want to improve in this area, but often don’t know how.
But the new presentation of tens of thousands of pairings of source/destination countries and their relative risk provides a broad understanding of the breadth of threats to global supply chains, including human rights abuses, security threats and business continuity risks.
The Index’s inputs include independent and BSI proprietary trafficking and exploitation data, economic disparity and countries’ geographical proximity. The data has been verified against the citations made by The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report to provide a holistic understanding of the probability of these types of abuses, threats and risks as well as real-world documented cases.
“The Index, allied with BSI’s solutions-based services, empowers organisations to focus their supply chain risk management on identifying and assessing ‘at-risk’ suppliers and to manage the risks proactively,” adds Chris McCann, principal consultant at BSI Supply Chain Services and Solutions.
“In doing so, progressive organisations will lessen their exposure to operational disruption, reputational damage, financial – including share price volatility – and potential legal consequences.”