Release of 2018 Global Slavery Index Provides Key Recommendations for Businesses

Release of 2018 Global Slavery Index Provides Key Recommendations for Businesses

In July, the 2018 Global Slavery Index (GSI) was released, providing companies with fresh insight on the pervasiveness of modern slavery across the globe.

Developed by the Walk Free Foundation (WFF), the report estimates the number of people living in modern slavery in a country by country ranking, provides a rating of government action against it, details vulnerability factors and outlines imported goods at risk.

The report asserts that in 2016, there were 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide and 24.9 million in forced labor, highlighting the severity of the issue.

Find out more about how Assent’s Corporate Social Responsibility Suite can help your company manage supply chain data and mitigate risk.

The data from the report gives companies a picture of what global modern slavery looks like, and how to better understand, mitigate and respond to modern slavery and human trafficking risk in the supply chain.

The index identified three key trends:

  1. Modern slavery is more prevalent in countries with a high rate of conflict.
  2. North Korea, Eritrea and Burundi have the most victims of modern slavery, with high rates of state-imposed forced labor as well.
  3. Developed, high-income countries are home to more modern slavery victims than what is commonly perceived.

Five Recommendations for G20 Governments & Businesses

The index also identified that G20 countries import $354 billion in high-risk products annually. These include electronics such as laptops, computers and mobile phones; apparel; fish; cocoa; and sugarcane. The report makes five key recommendations for G20 governments and businesses, suggesting that they:

  1. Prioritize human rights when doing business within repressive regimes.
  2. Anticipate and respond to modern slavery within conflict regions.
  3. Improve modern slavery identification and response at home.
  4. Address modern slavery in supply chains through due diligence, ethical recruitment of migrant workers, and prohibiting recruitment fees and the withholding of identity documents.
  5. Prioritize responses to violations against women and girls.

While the response to modern slavery has been greatest in Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, the UK, the U.S. and Sweden, the report notes that there is still much work to be done. In total, 36 countries took action to address forced labor in supply chains, compared to only four in 2016.

Leveraging Assent’s Human Trafficking & Slavery Solution

With governments taking action against modern slavery, global companies may need to perform due diligence to improve their disclosures to satisfy requirements under existing and emerging human trafficking and slavery legislation.

Assent’s Human Rights Module is updated frequently to take emerging reports into account. The module leverages the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template (STRT), an industry-standard tool that helps companies survey their supply chains for risk, supporting compliance with key legislation such as the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, the UK Modern Slavery Act, the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance law, and more.

For more information about how Assent can help your company identify and mitigate human trafficking in its supply chain, contact our experts at