Modern-day slavery is a human rights violation hidden in the shadows of our globalized markets. Today, it is estimated that tens of millions of adults and children are living in conditions of modern-day slavery around the world.
Despite its widespread prevalence, forced labor remains acutely undetected throughout company supply chains. In response, legislators in California passed the 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657). The first law of its kind, SB 657 requires certain retailers and manufacturers doing business in California to publicly disclose on their websites the degree to which they are addressing forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains.
As a human trafficking survivor, I frequently share my story with others in an effort to raise awareness about the existence of modern-day slavery and its human cost. Today, many companies have been made aware of the existence of trafficking and slavery because of SB 657.
Yet, the law goes further than simply drawing a company's attention to their potential human rights risks. SB 657 also requires greater transparency around each company's anti-trafficking efforts. Transparency creates an opportunity for an honest dialogue, and that in-turn helps shape a new path forward.
In order to spur said dialogue, the Tronie Foundation and a group of organizations committed to ending modern-day slavery announced this week the launch of knowthechain.org, a new website dedicated to promoting greater compliance, transparency and dialogue around SB 657 and issues of slavery in supply chains.
KnowTheChain provides information about companies that meet the criteria established by SB 657 and provides links to their identified disclosure statements. Additionally, it provides numerous resources for companies who want to take proactive steps to better manage their systems of supply.
SB 657 and KnowTheChain are helping to shine a light on modern-day slavery. Now, more than ever, we all have an opportunity to meaningfully contribute to this dialogue so that collectively, we can better contribute to the eradication of modern-slavery in our time.