Around the world over 40 million people are enslaved in forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced marriage. Women and girls are disproportionally affected by forced labour, accounting for 99% of victims in the commercial sex industry and 58% in other forms of modern slavery.[i] Modern slavery occurs around the World, but the Asia Pacific region generates a third of the $150 billion in profit made from forced labour as stated by the International Labour Organization in their most recent Global Estimates of Modern Slavery report (the report).
Many organisations are now either voluntarily or by mandate undertaking assessment of their operations to understand the risk their operations could cause through unknown participation in forced labour in the supply chains, and enact effective business responses to modern slavery.
In 2021 Norman Disney & Young [a Tetra Tech Company] (NDY) prepared its first group-wide Modern Slavery Statement, undertaking assessment of their own supply chain using an industry-based supply chain screening. The top-down approach includes interrogation of the inherent social risks in each industry using an economic input-output model (Socially Extended Input-Output (SEIO) to estimate social risks in the supply chain. The input-output matrix evaluates the linkage between monetary flows – such as supply chain flows – and social risks. This allows an assessment of the whole supply chain, considering risks beyond the supply chain’s first tier (direct suppliers).
“The supply chain screening is an important tool as it gives us a holistic view of geographical and sector-based risks beyond our tier-one suppliers.” Says Claudia Burbidge, part of NDY’s sustainability team who developed their Modern Slavery Statement.
“For NDY, these hotspots include administrative labour and CAD design, business services, transport such as airlines, and recruitment. Using the results of this screening process we are able to narrow down the risks by engaging with our direct suppliers through an industry-recognised Modern Slavery platform. We consider this level of engagement and collaboration with our suppliers as a necessary step. It allows us to understand the nature of any present risks, and work with our suppliers to respond in a meaningful way.”
Watch our video explaining Modern Slavery and how NDY is addressing it