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Modern slavery

Ending modern-day slavery in the Republic of Georgia

Brian Ulicny  Vice President, Thomson Reuters Labs

Brian Ulicny  Vice President, Thomson Reuters Labs

As part of our commitment to being part of the global effort to end modern slavery, Thomson Reuters Labs is helping to develop a blueprint for ethical global supply chains.

On October 27, 2018, the government of the Republic of Georgia, Grace Farms Foundation (GFF) and Unchain, a non-profit organization, signed an agreement to work together to eradicate modern forms of slavery in Georgian supply chains. As a member of Unchain, Thomson Reuters will further its work to end slavery in our time by helping to develop a blueprint for ethical global supply chains.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Republic of Georgia will collaborate with GFF and Unchain to develop specific international standards for businesses, corporations and private investors in the food/agricultural industry with the goal of creating a supply chain free of forced labor by 2020.

Understanding the connection between modern slavery and supply chains

Modern slavery is an overarching term that refers to both sex trafficking and forced labor. It is estimated that 40.3 million people are enslaved globally, whether through bonded labor, descent-based slavery, forced labor, early and forced marriage, human trafficking or organ trafficking. These modern-day slaves are at the center of a $150 billion economy that goes largely overlooked because it targets the most vulnerable communities around the world.

The vast majority of modern slaves are working in factories, on construction sites, on fishing boats, and in agricultural industries, making slave labor a significant part of the global supply chain.

As public knowledge of forced labor increases, many governments and businesses around the world are taking a hard look at their supply chains and resolving to make change.

Stepping up to the challenge

As a global team of scientists, developers and designers, we at Thomson Reuters Labs collaborate with customers around the world to solve problems by rapidly prototyping and validating solutions using data science and lean techniques. Based on our thought leadership in anti-trafficking as well as the unique role that Thomson Reuters plays at the intersection of commerce and legislation, Thomson Reuters Labs will play a key role in working with the Republic of Georgia, GFF and Unchain.

The agreement was signed at a ceremony during the Tsinindali Festival in Tsinindali, Georgia, and was attended by representatives of the Georgia Government, including (from left to right) Sharon Prince of Grace Farms Foundation, Krishna Patel of Unchain, Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, and Brian Ulicny of Thomson Reuters.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Thomson Reuters Labs as a major partner in the Georgia project,” said Krishna Patel, President, Unchain. “Their team of data scientists have the unprecedented experience necessary to evaluate the key factors contributing to supply chains at-risk for modern-day slavery.”

While Georgia is already a low-risk country for forced labor, the goal of the consortium is to create a blueprint for the elimination of modern-day slavery in the agricultural supply chain that will encourage global businesses to invest and/or co-invest in Georgia and ensure that more products are ethically sourced and processed globally. Our participation in this consortium will help create a business model for other countries looking to create transparency in the supply chain and combat these forms of slavery.

Learn more

There are currently 40.3 million human beings enslaved around the world. How can multinational corporations lead the fight to end modern slavery? Explore our special report: Ending modern slavery.

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