• ESG(P) – Why Are Partnerships Important?

    From the beginning, I have been a huge fan of the whole ESG concept. While it was originally established to set criteria for a company’s behavior for socially conscious investors to evaluate potential investments, post-COVID, the concept continues to expand. In time, I anticipate a range of changes, including: more regulation, more standardization, and more … Continued

  • We Are All Connected: The Hoodie

    We have all seen a hoodie, and most of us probably have at least one hanging in our wardrobes, but how much do we understand of it? The hoodie has always served as a cultural and political icon in urban cities representing youth, defiance and subversion. In skateboarding and hip-hop culture, having a hood up … Continued

  • We Are All Connected: Running Shoes

    Running is a sport or hobby taken up by millions, from the casual citizen trying to keep fit to the Mo Farahs and the Eliud Kipchoges. Being so widespread, the primary equipment needed to participate in the practice, the running shoe, is widely manufactured around the globe. However, the humble running shoe often doesn’t have … Continued

  • Adding Another Letter to ESG – “P”

    Today’s companies have come to understand that it isn’t enough to just make profits, to expand their market, or to establish prestige, there is also a moral imperative to demonstrate that a company cares. The phrase “Business with Purpose” is emerging as a statement of a company’s commitment to step up and to demonstrate concern … Continued

  • Human Trafficking & the Hidden Effects of Conflict

    As devastation in the Ukraine prompts governments to quickly enact sanctions and companies to pull operations and services from Russia entirely, we see a looming crisis caused by the forced displacement of millions of people that equally must not go ignored by the public and private sectors. This crisis is not new, it is something … Continued

  • A New Frontier For Us: ‘Metaversification’

    By definition, the metaverse represents a “virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users”. While the metaverse has been around for many years in the form of computer games and simulation worlds, it has continued to grow at a slow, gradual pace. With Facebook’s recent public announcement in October … Continued

  • What does an effective grievance mechanism look like?

    This blog post was guest-written in collaboration with Labor Solutions. At the Mekong Club, we carry out regular anonymous surveys of private sector professionals working within retail and manufacturing industries. One of the key questions we ask is ‘Are workers within the supply chain of your company able to easily report concerns about their employment conditions, … Continued

  • 7 Prisoners: The Movie

    Now and then a good movie comes along that really provides an insight into a particular social issue or topic.  A few examples of this include: Platoon, which for me depicted the true horror of the Vietnam War; Blood Diamond, which showed how the diamond trade was dominated by criminals and traffickers; and the Killing … Continued

  • The Relationship Between Global Warming and Modern Slavery

    Climate change is real, despite resistance from many to accept this fact. For this very reason, many environmentalists have little hope that summits like the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland will yield any concrete solutions. In India, the section of society that is most affected by the effects of climate change, are the farmers. … Continued

  • Be the Hero: The Importance of Volunteerism

    Our world faces significant troubles. Our atmosphere is heating up at an alarming rate. Our polar ice is melting. Some of our most beloved species are near extinction. People are enslaved in nearly every country in the world. More than half the world lives in dire poverty. Wars rage in more than ten countries. Millions … Continued

  • Migration Matters: Climate Change & Modern Slavery

    When evaluating modern slavery and ESG, we tend to see articles and media focusing on modern slavery as part of the ‘Social’ element and Climate Change as strictly ‘Environmental’. However, when we take a moment to consider the causes and consequences of modern slavery and the challenges facing sustainability in supply chains, this picture becomes … Continued

  • Cryptocurrency & Modern Slavery

    Human trafficking, also often referred to as modern slavery, is the act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, or receiving of persons by means of threat, fraud or use of force or other forms of coercion for the purpose of exploitation.[1] Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing forms of crime in the world, and an … Continued

  • The Mekong Club’s Modern Slavery Toolkit

    In 2015, we established the Mekong Club’s business association. Over the years, we have built deep and trusted relationships with over 60 companies across sectors such as banking, hospitality, garment, food and beverage, toys, and footwear. Our members receive up-to-date information and expert training and consultations on issues pertinent to their industry, and we meet regularly … Continued

  • How Hospitality Harbours Modern Slavery

    When the public imagines slavery, a majority might picture men and women being kept as property through the threat of violence. As undeniably evocative as these images are though, modern slavery is multi-faceted, encompassing many different forms of forced labour. While more ‘traditional’ or ‘chattel’ forms of slavery are still prevalent, these cases are only … Continued

  • “If they don’t like their job, why don’t they just leave?” The reality of modern slavery.

    When speaking about modern slavery in Asia we have often been asked: “If they don’t like their job, why don’t they just leave?” This question highlights one of the most common misconceptions around modern slavery and forced labour in supply chains, that if the constraints on freedoms cannot be physically seen then they must not … Continued

  • Global Diligence in Supply Chain Sustainability

    Due Diligence in Today’s Supply Chain Sustainability   COVID-19 has shifted the way we live our lives, both personally and professionally. This has taken a toll not only on the way we consume but also on how easy it is to forget where our products came from to provide, nurture and protect the ones we … Continued

  • The Many Faces: Ending Modern Slavery in Finance

    The finance world is multi-faceted, and any one bank can employ thousands of staff, each with their own personal responsibilities and interests to fulfil. When we first engage with finance professionals on the topic of modern slavery risk, they often hold preconceptions about who in their organisation is responsible for addressing this crime or may … Continued

  • Measuring Modern Slavery Risk in the Hospitality Industry Through Self-Assessment

    Modern slavery, which is defined as the recruitment, movement, harbouring or receiving of children, women or men through the use of force, coercion, abuse of vulnerability, deception or other means for the purpose of exploitation, can be a serious issue for the hospitality sector. Throughout the world, this issue can pose reputational risks for the entire … Continued

  • Modern Slavery Business Risks: Finance and COVID-19

    Emerging Business Risks in Modern Slavery As COVID-19 continues to impact every industry and economy, so does the business risk of modern slavery and criminal economy. Human traffickers operate using profits generated through their crimes and continue to exploit people across the world. With lockdowns still prevalent in many countries, traffickers adapt and find new … Continued

  • Modern Slavery: The Elephant in The Room

    A topic often heard of yet still largely misunderstood. Modern slavery exists worldwide and is not just present in developing countries but globally. Often when we talk about modern slavery, a picture is painted of exploitation in factories and farmlands, images that are far removed from the shiny corporate office buildings where a good majority … Continued

  • A Data Approach to Preventing Modern Slavery

    Modern slavery has impacted every country and virtually every industry in the world. Preventing modern slavery is a robust challenge to protect and safeguard the over 40 million victims across global supply chains. In most industries, organisations are active in or source from multiple locations where they invest, have supply chains, and conduct business, with … Continued

  • Unseen Modern Slavery in the Hospitality Industry

    Anyone in the hospitality industry will be able to tell you that, in order to provide the best experience for customers, much of the work that goes into running a successful establishment happens ‘behind the scenes’. From room cleaners and caregivers, to security guards, kitchen porters, and gardeners: these workers’ labour is often unseen, away … Continued

  • Social Compliance: It’s Crucial to Business Success

    At the Mekong Club, we focus on modern slavery, which falls under the broader umbrella of ‘social compliance’. By definition, social compliance focuses on the policies, procedures and practices that a company uses to protect the safety, rights, and health of their own workers and the workers throughout their extended supply chain. Modern slavery compliance … Continued

  • Alliances Against the Finance of Slavery

    Financial service providers are data fortresses, adhering to strict data-sharing laws that can hinder the sharing of information even between country-offices within one organisation, let alone between two separate institutions. These vast companies staffed by thousands are not well-known for collaborating with each-other but occasionally an issue so universally important comes up that this status-quo … Continued

  • Finance, ESG and Modern Slavery – A Path Forward

    Collaboration has been the key for societies to articulate clarity, challenge our thought processes, and build from one anothers research. The pace in which we’ve developed globally has been astonishing and serves as a mirror for what we are truly capable of when collaborating, but more importantly when commitment takes place. Without commitment, collaboration quickly … Continued

  • A Voice of Many – Modern Slavery Today

    July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking, and this year we invite you to join our #HumansForHumans campaign and learn how the private sector can make a difference in the lives of the millions of workers in our global supply chains. We start with Zimal’s story to illustrate why you should get involved in #HumansForHumans. … Continued

  • A Moon Goal to Address Modern Slavery

    “We know that great things can be accomplished when people are drawn together by a common vision” The Mekong Club, Research and Communications Group (RCG) and Ashbury Communications have written a new, groundbreaking strategic paper that challenges the private sector to eliminate forced labour from its supply chains by 2030 — and sets out a … Continued

  • Apprise Audit: Giving Supply Chain Workers a Voice During Covid-19

    Social auditing is one of the fundamental ways in which the private sector monitor their supply chains for potential labour exploitation and abuse. Frequent audits allow for a trained professional to visit a factory to check the working conditions. Auditors speak to workers and managers about any grievances or concerns that they may have, interviewing … Continued

  • Business with Purpose: Combining Efforts to Achieve a Greater Good

    Today’s brands have come to understand that it isn’t enough to just make profits, to expand their market, or to establish prestige, there is also a moral imperative to demonstrate that a company cares. The phrase “Business with Purpose” is emerging as a statement of a company’s commitment to step up and to demonstrate concern … Continued

  • Child Slavery: Definitions & Tools for Understanding This Global Crime

    Children make up around 25% of victims of modern day slavery, with millions of children being forced to work in global supply chains each day. Combatting forced and child labour is a key priority area for many companies, who make public commitments to a zero-tolerance approach and point to programmes to eradicate child labour across … Continued

  • How Reporting on ESG Can Support Your Marketing Efforts

    Over the past year, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in both the business and investment world has been a hot topic. While many might believe ESG falls considerably on investments; however, ESG undoubtedly falls under every component within an organization’s value chain. With more and more pressure from the public, governments and non-government organizations to … Continued

  • Mapping Modern Slavery Risk

    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 … Continued

  • Modern Slavery Today: Roles & Responsibilities in Supply Chains

    Ensuring that operations are free from modern slavery is a core area of focus for manufacturing and retail companies, which often have expansive global supply chains and many internal departments with thousands of staff. Modern slavery itself is a complex issue, and requires the skills, resources, and expertise of multiple people within any organisation to … Continued

  • Responsible Recruitment: How Companies Can Show Commitment to Worker Wellbeing

    From searching for work to speaking with recruiters and eventually signing a contract, most people experience a recruitment journey in order to secure a job. For some this process is relatively straightforward if somewhat laborious, for others it can be a process so mired in fraud and exploitation that they risk becoming trapped in a … Continued

  • Sex Trafficking: Beyond Victim Identification to Sustainable Rehabilitation

    Sex Trafficking The International Labor Organization estimates there are 40 million modern slavery victims around the world, with sex trafficking making up approximately 25% of this figure. As complex as this issue is, it also one of the world’s pressing issues. Many are shocked to learn that sex trafficking could be occurring in their own … Continued

  • Sustainable Safeguarding: Calling for a Respect-Focused Approach to CSR

    COVID-19 is testing corporate commitment to social responsibility. While major e-commerce and software companies have turned enormous global profits, making massive donations and supporting COVID-19 relief efforts, mid- and large-sized corporates are facing harsh cost-cutting realities just to keep core business practices afloat. In some cases, this means marginalizing CSR initiatives as companies face a … Continued

  • The Finance of Modern Slavery: Covid-19 and Emerging Threats

    As every industry and economy is impacted by COVID-19, so is the criminal economy. Human traffickers operate for profits. They exploit people in many ways, from forced prostitution to forced and child labour in industries across the world, defined as modern slavery. As the world locks down, these people are adapting and finding new nefarious … Continued

  • The Vision Behind Traffik Analysis Hub

    The business of trafficking is an errant economy, entwined with the legitimate. For many organisations today modern slavery and human trafficking poses an exponential risk. With trafficking in persons generating an estimated $230 billion annual revenue, every financial transaction for goods and services that is tainted by trafficking is the ‘proceeds of crime’ and therefore … Continued

  • Unseen Victims: Modern Slavery In The Office?

    Modern slavery is found closer than you may think. Often when we talk about modern slavery a picture is painted of exploitation in factories and farmlands, images far removed from the shiny corporate office buildings where much of our usual audience spend each day. Most will be sympathetic to the plight of the millions of … Continued

  • Racing to Help Stop Modern Slavery: From Student Activism to Global Impact

    “Oh my goodness, Covid has completely upended my plans to [insert experience here]! “   The sentence above says it all. In this day and age, we hear stories of how COVID-19 has made life much harder, and how various individuals and societies try to overcome these new challenges. But for the 40.3 million people … Continued

  • We Spoke to NGOs About the Private Sector & Modern Slavery. This is What They Said.

    Impact of COVID-19 During the COVID-19 crisis, the Mekong Club reached out to community-based organisations (CBOs) and non-government organisations (NGOs) across Asia to better understand what was happening with workers on the ground. Many of these groups have implemented programs aimed at combating modern slavery through responsible recruitment, safe migration, worker rights, training, and worker … Continued

  • Your Practical Guide to Help Stop Modern Slavery Every Day

    At the Mekong Club, we often hold awareness raising talks and hard-hitting sessions on the horrendous crime that is modern day slavery. Each time, we are asked the same question by audience members, who are moved by the stories of the 40 million men, women, and children living in slavery today. “This is such a … Continued

  • Help Stop Modern Slavery This Holiday Season

    As the holiday season approaches, and many of us take time off work to reflect on the year, and reconnect (as much as social distancing allows in 2021) with friends and family. This season for many, is a time for gift-giving, celebration, and charity. During this time, there are many opportunities to take action against … Continued