Modern slavery impacts every country and virtually every industry in the world today. Over 40 million victims span our global supply chains, from cotton harvesting to fishing, garment manufacturing to electronics. When looking for where to source materials, where to invest money, and where to conduct business, incorporating modern slavery risk into the decision making process can feel like an overwhelming task.
However, there are data sources out there that help us to understand where the risk lies. These resources break down the complex and widespread crime of modern slavery by country, or industry, and provide us more clarity on how and where modern slavery exists within the world today.
When accessing this data, it is important to take into account the limitations of such information. Modern slavery, by its very nature, is a clandestine crime that can be challenging to quantify. However, these sources do provide an initial insight, and are updated on a regular basis with new research and intelligence, to further our understanding and allow for more effective risk management.
Image by Are Socha, Pixabay
The Global Slavery Index
The Global Slavery Index provides a comprehensive overview of the modern slavery situation in almost every country in the world. A country-by-country breakdown allows you to dive into the data and understand the following key information about that location:
- The number of people estimated to be living in modern slavery.
- The prevalence of modern slavery related to the population.
- How the prevalence of modern slavery compares to other countries, globally and within that particular region.
- A vulnerability score, determining how the local context may be creating modern slavery vulnerabilities.
- Information on how the government is responding to the issue in that country.
- Explanations of typical industries impacted by modern slavery, and patterns of exploitation.
Image: Global Slavery Index Website
US DOL List of Goods & Services
This data source, from the US Department of Labour (DOL), lists goods and services that are known to carry a high risk of forced and/or child labour. This is updated on a regular basis to reflect changing trends and analysis in this space.
By searching the list of goods and services, you can see the modern slavery risks associated with them, as well as information on locations where risk is considered to be higher.
Image: US DOL List of Goods & Services
This data can be found online , but is unavailable for access online in some countries. If that is the case for you, then the ‘Sweat & Toil’ smartphone app allows you to access the data by searching by good or service on your mobile phone. This free app is available on Android and Apple devices, and provides an easy interface to access and search all of the insights from the DOL.
Image: Google Play Store (Sweat & Toil App)
The State Department’s Annual Trafficking In Persons Report
This annual report analyses the modern slavery situation in almost every country in the world. It provides analysis on:
- How each country is managing modern slavery prevention, detection, and mitigation, through allocating a ‘Tier’ to each location.
- Analysis of common trends and typologies of modern slavery in that location.
- Recommendations for improvements in anti-slavery responses, as well as examples of best practice.
- Analysis on how the modern slavery response has changed over time.
- Additional ‘special reports’ on issues such as the impact of Covid-19 on modern slavery risk across the world.
The Mekong Club’s Modern Slavery Risk Map
At The Mekong Club, we have aggregated all of the above risk sources into one location, as a tool available on our website. This map is searchable by country and/or commodity, and users can download country reports to understand in more detail how modern slavery impacts each location. We update this tool on a regular basis, to incorporate the latest data and insights.
Image: Mekong Club’s Modern Slavery Risk Map
Author – Phoebe Ewen