Tackle Modern Slavery in your Supply Chains

Modern slavery in the manufacturing sector can occur at all supply chain stages – from extracting raw materials to shipping finished goods. As most work is outsourced internationally, the manufacturing industry is prone to modern slavery.

Mekong Club works with retailers and manufacturers to create sustainable approaches to end modern slavery. Companies join our community to benefit from anti-slavery toolkits, consultations and support in developing ethical practices.

Join Our Community To End Modern Slavery

Work With Mekong Club to Make a Difference

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    Access to industry expertise and best practices

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    Collaborate with a global network of professionals

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    Reduce the risk of modern slavery in your business through training

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    Exceed ethical and sustainability targets

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    Become a leader in anti-slavery

Modern Slavery: The Human Cost of Our Products

As manufacturers are under pressure to stick to tight margins, production is often outsourced overseas, where labour is cheaper. Victims of exploitation are from poorer countries and are willing to accept low wages and dismal working conditions. 

Migrant workers are also at risk of modern slavery in the manufacturing sector. Since they aren’t familiar with the local language, they may not understand their rights. 

Supply chains are complex and difficult to manage – it can even be hard to track where products have come from, and who made them. The welfare of the workforce can easily slip under the radar unless businesses are active in tackling modern slavery.

Find out how you score in your anti-slavery strategies against industry standards through our confidential self-assessment. 

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Challenges the Manufacturing Sector Faces

Contractors in the manufacturing sector are often low-skilled, low-paid and the most vulnerable to exploitation. These individuals’ rights, such as sick leave, may not be mandated by law. With no option to work from home, many employees work involuntarily or fall into debt bondage.

Mekong Club has free tools and resources to help you address these challenges and exclusive tools for members.


  • Our collaboration with the Mekong Club has been nothing but a success. This is due to two factors:

    i) They have continually met us where we are as a company. When we knew little, they held our hand. As we have grown, they challenge our thinking and press for progress.

    ii) Modern slavery can be a very difficult and sensitive topic to discuss as a company. However, from the beginning, Mekong Club has created a safe space to dig deeper and look for solutions, rather than finger-pointing.

  • The Apprise platform, developed by the Mekong Club and the United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU) is an innovative voice app that enables more workers to be engaged during an audit in a safe, effective and anonymous way. Apprise uses a mobile app to ask workers questions in their local language via a headset, which have been specially developed to uncover any red flags for forced labor in line with the ILO indicators. Apprise has helped us overcome the barriers

    LI & FUNG
  • Mekong Club supported us in the development of our Group Responsible Recruitment Policy, which guides our implementation of the International Labour Organization’s Fair Recruitment Principles and Guidelines and supports the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) Commitment to Responsible Recruitment. Mekong Club provided technical inputs for the policy and will support us in terms of wider capacity-building for human resources and front-line staff to better understand the issue.

    LI & FUNG
  • Being a member of the Mekong Club, we have access to an expert team with whom we can discuss issues relating to modern slavery in the supply chain, including putting safeguards in place to identify and mitigate risks, compliance with regulatory requirements relating to modern slavery including employee training. We also benefit from interactions with like-minded member/professionals through webinars and events organized by the club.


Breaking the Link in the Supply Chain

It’s estimated that millions of people in the manufacturing industry are exploited every year through forced labour, human trafficking and sexual exploitation. As well as physical and psychological consequences for these individuals, modern slavery can drain the economy. 

Break the link in the supply chain by putting anti-slavery at the forefront of your business. Showing your genuine commitment to the cause will enhance your brand reputation and win over investors. 

You may already have some initiatives in place, or just starting your anti-slavery strategy. Wherever you are in your journey, Mekong Club can help.

A New Era of Manufacturing

Manufacturing businesses have many stakeholders, so it can be difficult to get everyone on board and create anti-slavery strategies. However, consumer mindsets are changing, and people are more aware of the origins of their products, and questioning the conditions they were made in. Combined with tighter legislation, manufacturers must enter this new era of ethical practices. 

Some main steps businesses can take include implementing a zero-tolerance policy for modern slavery in supply chains. Employees in all areas should be trained on the signs of modern slavery and there should be processes in place to raise the alarm. 

Manufacturers should monitor and audit the supply chain to spot and address forced labour. Having clear communication with suppliers and training them on modern slavery can also help. 

Mekong Club has a community of like-minded businesses in the manufacturing sector that can support you in your transition to more concrete processes.

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  • How modern slavery affects manufacturing businesses
  • How to engage suppliers and raise awareness about modern slavery
  • How do you assess modern slavery?
  • How can we assess the impact of our anti-slavery initiatives?
  • How much does it cost to become a member of the Mekong Club?
  • How often will I hear from the Mekong Club?